How older people became less afraid of crime
How older people became less afraid of crime - An APC-Analysis of Fear of Crime using repeated cross-sectional survey data
One of the most robust predictors of fear of crime is age. Yet, many questions beyond the basic cross-sectional relationship remain unexplored. We investigate temporal dimensions of fear of crime over the life course and over subsequent cohorts, applying graphical analyses and hierarchical age-period-cohort analysis (HAPC) to seven waves of the European Social Survey for Germany. Guiding assumptions are that adverse living conditions in childhood and potential traumata – as experienced by many during World War Two - result in higher levels of perceived insecurity throughout the life course, and that educational expansion in postwar Germany has reduced fear for later cohorts. Our results show fear varies considerably between birth cohorts as well as between men and women. The older cohorts born before 1957 display higher levels of fear of crime independent of age. Fear of crime has declined in older but unexpectedly increased in younger age groups, especially for women, between 2002 and 2012. Rising levels of education in post-war Germany can explain half of the cohort effect on decreasing fear, whereas self-rated health mediates individual effects of ageing on fear but not cohort effects. These novel findings add considerably to the understanding of temporal dynamics of fear of crime.
About the presenter
Göran Köber is a visiting PhD candidate from MPICC in Germany (Dept. of Criminology, Max Planck Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg). He received a doctoral fellowship from MaxNetAging (Max Planck International Research Network on Aging). His doctoral dissertation focuses on the effects of social contexts on vulnerable/resilient people.