A cognitive behavioral perspective of drivers of threat of victimization involving local and international tertiary students

Xiong, L 2011, A cognitive behavioral perspective of drivers of threat of victimization involving local and international tertiary students, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A cognitive behavioral perspective of drivers of threat of victimization involving local and international tertiary students
Author(s) Xiong, L
Year 2011
Abstract This dissertation incorporates two inter-related quantitative studies investigating tertiary students’ threat of victimization. Drawing upon CBT (Beck, 1964, 1976), the victimization model (Skogan & Maxfield, 1981), the incivilities thesis (Taylor, 1998, 2001), and Garofalo’s (1981) fear of crime model, Study 1 develops and tests a nonrecursive model investigating reciprocal relationships between cognitive (i.e., perceived risk, perceptions of unsafety), emotional (i.e., fear of crime), and behavioral (i.e., avoidance behavior) facets of threat of victimization, and the impact of personal characteristics and community-related factors on these dimensions. The finding of support for cyclical interrelationships between these factors challenge predominant recursive models (Ferguson & Mindel, 2007; Melde, 2009) and propositions involving relationships between bivariate DVs (Liska et al., 1988; Rader et al., 2007) in the field of fear of crime.

Study 1 accommodates students’ characteristics and their perceptions of community within a nonrecursive model. Consistent with the pertinent literature (Ferraro, 1995; Rader et al., 2007), results indicate that personal and community-related factors, as antecedents, influence fear of crime, perceived risk, perceptions of unsafety, and avoidance behavior, dynamically. Specifically, relatively younger tertiary students, females, those that report lower levels of protective ability, and prior victims tend to express higher levels of threat of victimization than their counterparts. Perceptions of social disorder enhance, whereas levels of social integration and confidence in police function to reduce students’ levels of threat of victimization.

Underpinned by the culture shock thesis (Oberg, 1954, 1960), the subcultural-diversity model (Merry, 1981), and the group position thesis (Blumer, 1958), Study 2 explores differences between international and local tertiary students on their levels of threat of victimization and associated predictors. This investigation highlights the importance of testing for measurement equivalence on constructs across groups when undertaking multi-group comparisons. It is argued that comparative investigations are meaningless when constructs across cohorts are variant (Byrne, 2010; Vandenberg & Lance, 2000). Despite relatively lower levels of self-reported victimization rates, international students tend to express higher levels of threat of victimization and lower levels of perceptions of social disorder, social integration, and protective ability than their local counterparts.

The present thesis makes five major innovative contributions to our understanding of threat of victimization, including:
• The adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach to develop a testable hypothesized nonrecursive threat of victimization model, in particular, the utilization of cognitive behavioral theory;
• The application of advanced statistical techniques, involving testing for a nonrecursive model, instrument validity, and measurement equivalence;
• Examination and comparison of international and local tertiary students’ threat of victimization;
• Bridging a gap in our understanding of international students’ threat of victimization, suggesting that ethnicity is a critical factor; and
• Outlining a number of important implications for research, practice, and responsible stakeholders such as policy makers, police, counselling providers, universities, communities, international students’ host and home countries, and students themselves.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Keyword(s) Threat of Victimization
Cognitive Behavioral Theory
International Students
Comparitive Study
Nonrecursive SEM Model
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Created: Thu, 13 Sep 2012, 11:19:37 EST by Brett Fenton
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