Does fear of crime discourage walkers? A social-ecological exploration of fear as a deterrent to walking

Foster, S, Giles-Corti, B and Knuiman, M 2014, 'Does fear of crime discourage walkers? A social-ecological exploration of fear as a deterrent to walking', Environment and Behavior, vol. 46, no. 6, pp. 698-717.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Does fear of crime discourage walkers? A social-ecological exploration of fear as a deterrent to walking
Author(s) Foster, S
Giles-Corti, B
Knuiman, M
Year 2014
Journal name Environment and Behavior
Volume number 46
Issue number 6
Start page 698
End page 717
Total pages 20
Publisher Sage Publications
Abstract Few studies have specifically investigated fear of crime as a deterrent to walking. This study tested the hypothesis that fear would inhibit residents from walking in their local neighborhoods. Homeowners (n = 1,044) in Perth, Western Australia, reported their fear of crime, neighborhood problems and walking, and objective environmental measures were generated for each participant's neighborhood. Multivariate logistic regression models examined the association between fear and walking, with progressive adjustment for other correlates. Fear was associated with lower odds of transport walking (OR = 0.79, p = .034); however, car access was ubiquitous so fearful participants could avoid walking. A similar association between fear and recreational walking attenuated after controlling for other neighborhood factors. Findings suggest that the capacity for fear to deter recreational walkers is not fixed, and that a supportive environment can lessen its impact. Community initiatives that encourage social interaction between residents and improve neighborhood aesthetics may increase levels of recreational walking.
Subject Epidemiology
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) crime
fear
neighborhood
safety
walking
DOI - identifier 10.1177/0013916512465176
Copyright notice © 2012 Sage Publications
ISSN 0013-9165
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