Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


Richard Krannich


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the phenomenon of fear of crime in the context of two highly distinct small town environments: one characterized by extremely rapid population growth due to energy development, and the other characterized by relative stability and slow population expansion. Although in general prior fear of crime research has indicated relatively low levels of fear in rural small towns, the altered social environment of the rapid growth community may result in substantially heightened fear of crime. Using survey data collected from random samples of households in each of the study communities, the relationships between fear of crime and community of residence was examined, as were relationships between fear and respondents' age, sex, length of residence, and criminal victimization experiences. Results indicate substantially higher fear of crime among boomtown residents, a finding which is tentatively interpreted as indicative of more general social disruption under conditions of rapid growth.



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