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The Ivory Tower Meets the Inner City: Student Protective and Avoidance Behaviors on an Urban University Campus

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Despite relatively low levels of crime on campus, college and university students are not immune from criminal victimization. Students' levels of fear of crime on campus, perceptions regarding the likelihood of victimization, and confidence in campus police, shape their decisions to engage in specific avoidance and protective behaviors. This study examines the attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and experiences, of approximately 1000 university students at an urban university in a major southern city. Several predictor variables are utilized in both multiple regression and bootstrapped regression models to examine their impact on avoidance and protective behaviors while on campus. Actual and vicarious victimization experiences on campus are examined and reported within this work. Results indicate fear of campus crime, perceived likelihood of campus victimization, previous actual and vicarious victimization, and confidence in campus police and security significantly predict student avoidance and protective behaviors. Bootstrapped models also indicate fear and likelihood mediate a majority of these relationships. The results of these analyses are important for understanding the impact of campus crime victimization and may guide administrators and campus law enforcement's efforts to more effectively address crime on campus.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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  • College Student Journal publishes original investigations and theoretical papers dealing with college student values, attitudes, opinions, and learning. Topics include the areas of undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, and may also include selected contributions dealing with college preparation.

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