Neighborhood Environmental Satisfaction, Victimization, and Social Participation as Determinants of Perceived Neighborhood Safety

  • Baba Y
  • Austin D
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Abstract

This research examines the effect of overall neighborhood satisfac-tion, victimization, and social participation on perceived neighborhood safety. It systematically tests the relative importance of victimization, concern with neigh-borhood "environmental" quality, and social integration into the community in predicting fear of crime. Our research incorporates three aspects into a single model that predicts the level of fear of crime experienced by local community residents. Fear of crime is measured in terms of perceived risks in various circumstances in the neighborhood of residence. As such, a measure of fear of crime can be seen as a measure of perceived neighborhood safety. Results suggest that those who exhibit higher levels of satisfaction with the neighborhood environment tend to express higher perceived levels of neighborhood safety. Property victimization, not personal victimization, is found to have an impact on residents' perception of neighborhood safety. In contrast, social participation does not seem to be related to perceived neighborhood safety. The result implies that improving the quality of neighborhood environmental characteristics will increase residents' concern with the appearance of the neighborhood along with their concerns about the quality of people who live there, which in turn enhances higher perceived levels of neighborhood safety.

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Authors

  • Yoko Baba

  • D. Mark Austin

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