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Parental influences, gendered socialisation, and adolescents’ fear of crime

By Harriet Beech


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.While numerous studies have examined adults’ Fear of Crime, research examining adolescents’ Fear of Crime is limited. Previous research using adolescents has found parental attachment decreases males’ Fear of Crime while increased parental supervision inflates Fear of Crime for both genders. The current study examines the differing relationships between attachment, supervision and Fear of Crime further by investigating if parental style can help account for these different parental influences. Using a questionnaire design, 203 college students, answered questions measuring perceived parental influences (attachment, supervision, and style), socially desirable responding, Fear of Crime, Threat of Victimisation (avoidant behaviour, Fear of Crime, and risk of crime), with other demographic and crime related variables. Using regression and correlation, female and non-Caucasian adolescents were found to have higher Fear of Crime and Threat of Victimisation. Contrary to previous findings, adolescents who have more secure attachments and more supervision had greater Fear of Crime. Parental attachment was found to have stronger relationships to males’ Fear of Crime, while for females, supervision was more influential. Relationships were also found between females’ Fear of Crime and Threat of Victimisation, and socially desirable responding. Using structural equation modelling it was found for both genders that the influences of parental style and attachment were indirectly related to Fear of Crime through parental supervision, and socially desirable responding. This pattern of results suggests partly that the relationship between Fear of Crime and parental influences may be due to adolescents reporting the amount of fear they think they ought to report, but not their actual level of fear. This suggests that gender differences in Fear of Crime are partly due to gendered socialisation. Females report more fear because of reinforced beliefs of vulnerability and encouraged expression of fear through interaction, behaviour and communication, to some extent, with parents.University of Leiceste

Year: 2010
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