Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

David Reuman


Previous research has shown a significant relationship between consumption of crime-related stories in the media and fear of crime. Such a relationship has been recognized to prompt avoidance behaviors, any preventative actions one takes to avoid troubling thoughts, feelings, and or outcomes, within individuals who fear becoming the victim of a crime. In the current study, I aimed to answer the question, “Does the amount of crime-related media consumed through TV crime dramas, televised news, and social media and the racial composition of the neighborhood surrounding a college produce fear within college-aged students to venture off-campus?” I hypothesized that (a) more time spent consuming crime-related media will lead to less time off-campus, (b) individuals who less resemble the racial composition of the surrounding neighborhood will spend less time off-campus, and (c) men will spend more time off-campus than women. 300 students at the participating school were recruited to participate in an anonymous survey which measured their (1) comfort in the neighborhood surrounding their college, (2) perceptions of crime on campus, (3) perceptions of crime off campus, (4) on campus crime news information sources, (5) off campus crime news information sources, and (6) crime-related media consumption. The results of the survey completed by 51 participants revealed no significant relationship between crime-related media consumption and time spent off-campus. A significant relationship was, however, found between the race/ethnicity of a participant and their time spent off-campus in activities related to academics, social activities, and personal needs, generally confirming the hypothesized pattern. No significant relationship was found between the gender of a participant and time spent off-campus.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.