Date of Award

1-11-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Criminology

First Advisor

Daniel Lee, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dennis Giever, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alida Merlo, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Shannon Womer Phaneuf, Ph.D.

Abstract

The present study attempted to accurately measure crimes that occur on a college campus and whether students’ perceptions of police influenced their decisions to report their victimization. A specific emphasis was placed on sexual assaults. Previous research has examined the reporting of sexual assault (Bachman, 1998; Sampson, 2002), sexual assault among university students (Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 2000; Ward et al., 1991), and perceptions of police by university students (Griffith, Hueston, Wilson, Moyers & Hart, 2004; Williams & Nofzinger, 2003), but no prior research has examined specifically whether students perceptions of police influence their decision to report serious crimes, including sexual assault. This study utilized a survey methodology to gather data which was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively to determine what impacts victimization reporting and satisfaction with the police. The results of the analyses indicated that victimization reporting and satisfaction with the police was impacted by gender, with women being more likely to report victimization and holding higher satisfaction with the police. Results also showed that fear of victimization and perceptions of crime influence satisfaction with the police. Those with higher fear of victimization and perceptions of crime held lower satisfaction with the police. There was also limited support found for the proposition that perceptions of the police influence likelihood to report victimization.

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