Date of Award

7-17-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Erika Frenzel, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jennifer Gossett, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kathleen Hanrahan, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

John Lewis, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between members of Generation Y and their usage of the internet for the purposes of being informed about crime; as well as how this would influence their perceptions of possible likelihood of victimization utilizing a pair of scales developed by Crowl (2013). The framework for this examination is that of Gerbner and Gross's (1978) cultivation theory, in which the more time a person spends absorbed in a type of media, the more they will come to rely upon it for facts and snap judgments. To the knowledge of this researcher, no previous study has examined these internet variables, nor the internet as a tool of cultivation of a worldview in relationship to crime. The current study has expanded previous work in the field of cultivation theory research by utilizing the internet as a medium of cultivation, an expansion of mediums which has precedent, such as Williams (2006) and Van Mierlo and Van den Bulck's (2003) work in video games. This study found that cultivation effects appeared to be present in the use of the internet for crime news and view formulation in the form of sex and in the number of hours spent online.

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