Community Type in Context: Expectations of Guardianship and Victimization Experiences on a College Campus
Bostrom, Sarah R.
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The principles of guardianship can be traced through the communities and crime literature. While guardianship originates from the opportunities’ perspective and specifically from Routine Activities, it can be viewed as informal social controls at the community level. This study examines the impact of community type on expectations for guardianship. It also investigates the potential impact of these guardianship expectations on victimization on a college campus. This study uses original survey data. The sampling method consisted of two stages. In the first stage, courses were randomly selected for inclusion in the sample. In the second stage, the survey was made available to students in the learning management system course page with the consent of the instructor. The students completed a separate consent form. Data was collected in two waves in March/April and June/July of 2020. The final sample was 766 undergraduate students from a midsized southern university. The student response rate was 53% for both waves of data collection. This is a strong response rate for an online survey with data collection occurring during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community type does influence expected guardianship with respondents from extremely rural communities having significantly lower expectations of guardianship than respondents from large urban cities. Expected guardianship does not significantly impact the odds of on-campus victimization. Exposure does not mediate this relationship although respondents with higher expected guardianship have significantly reduced exposure. Finally, neither fear of crime on campus nor just world belief significantly moderated the relationship between expected guardianship and victimization.