The “reality” of middle-school crime objective vs. Subjective experiences among a sample of Kentucky youth

Pamela Wilcox, Michelle Campbell Augustine, Staci D. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


While actual, “objective” experiences with crime in school are very important, so too are “subjective” experiences with crimeincluding cognitive perceptions of the likelihood of experiencing school crime and the emotionally-based fear of school crime. Moreover, objective and subjective experiences with crime (and the differences among them) might be quite different depending upon the type of crime in question; patterns of objective versus subjective experiences may not be generalizable but instead might be crime-specific. The present study extends the literature by providing a descriptive comparison of objective versus subjective experiences with school-based crime. More specifically, we compare the prevalence of actual victimization experiences with subjective cognitive-based risk perceptions and emotionally-based fears of crime for seven different specific offenses and then compare the relationships between these various school-crime experiences and socio-demographic covariates in order to see how objective and subjective experiences are affected similarly or differently by race, class, gender, and place of residence. Finally, we examine the inter-relationships among victimization, risk and fear for different types of crime. We provide these comparisons using survey data from 3, 636 8th grade students across 60 Kentucky schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-28
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of School Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 29 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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