Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Literature, the Media and the Arts vol:39 issue:2 pages:107-124
Previous research on the relationship between television viewing and fear of crime has not paid much attention to explanatory processes and has concentrated mainly on socio-demographic variables and direct experience. This study looked at personal risk perception and ability to cope as predictors of fear most likely to be influenced by the vivid images of violence presented on television. A random sample of 711 adults was queried about their media use, personal crime risk perception, perceived ability to cope, and fear of crime. Path analysis supported the proposition that television viewing was related to risk perception and ability to cope, which in turn were predictors of fear of crime. Crime drama exposure was a significant predictor of both risk perception and coping ability, while exposure to reality crime television was a predictor of the latter only. News exposure was not a significant predictor of either variable. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.