Fear of crime is studied extensively as a potential contributor to the decline of a community. People who fear crime are expected to stay indoors and seek shelter, which then encourages more crime, setting in motion a vicious cycle that ultimately bodes ill for community engagement. However, there is little research that examines directly the relationship between fear of crime and participation. We explore such a relationship with Canadian survey data by looking at whether fear of crime can explain participation in a variety of associational activities. Our models show a relationship between fear of crime and participation, but the nature of that relationship varies according to the type of activity. A high level of fear, as well as reciprocity, explain participation in “vertical” associational life, while the absence of fear explains participation in “horizontal” associational life, although this latter pattern is mediated through reciprocity.

Type of Publication: Journal Article
By Anthony Piscitelli; Andrea M.L. Perrella
2017, The Social Science Journal,