English
 
Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Old age and fear of crime: cross-national evidence for a decreased impact of neighbourhood disadvantage in older age

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons212286

Oberwittler,  Dietrich
Criminology, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Max Planck Society;
Independent Research Group „Space, Contexts, and Crime“, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Köber, G., Oberwittler, D., & Wickes, R. (2020). Old age and fear of crime: cross-national evidence for a decreased impact of neighbourhood disadvantage in older age. Ageing & Society. doi:10.1017/S0144686X20001683.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-9AD0-0
Abstract
Fear of crime among older people has been a frequent topic in ageing research, criminology and urban studies. The ‘environmental docility hypothesis’ assumes that older people are more vulnerable to adverse neighbourhood conditions than younger age groups. Yet, few studies have tested this influential hypothesis using samples of respondents covering the complete adult lifespan. Looking at fear of crime, we investigated the person–environment interaction of age and neighbourhood disadvantage, using two independent surveys comprising 12,620 respondents aged 25–90 years residing in 435 neighbourhoods in four cities in Germany and Australia. We used multi-level analysis and cross-level interactions to model age-differential effects of neighbourhood disadvantage on fear. Contrary to the hypothesis, we found a weakening of neighbourhood effects on fear with age. The strong effect of neighbourhood disadvantage on fear of crime dropped by around half from the youngest (25 years) to the oldest age (90 years) in both countries. Younger people were almost as fearful as older people in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, but older people were considerably more fearful than younger ages in better-off neighbourhoods. We found limited empirical support for the assumption that this diminished association between neighbourhood disadvantage and fear can be explained by the stronger neighbourhood attachment of older people. The limitations of the analysis and potential future directions of research are discussed.