Author(s)

Matthew J. Dolliver  Jennifer Kenney  Lesley Reid  Ariane Prohaska 

Published

2018

Publication URL

Link

Abstract

According to cultivation theory, higher levels of crime-based media consumption result in an increased fear of crime. This study extends cultivation theory’s basic assertion by (a) creating a robust measure of media consumption based on three different factors and 38 original questions, (b) examining the direct and indirect effects of media consumption and fear of crime on support of criminal justice policies, and (c) using a nationwide sample. Using a sample of 1,311 participants, a combination of principal components analysis and structural equation modeling was used to examine these relationships. The results support the usefulness of a four-factor measure of media consumption in relationship to fear of crime. Results also reveal that fear of crime amplifies the effect of media consumption in creating support for three-strikes, death penalty, stand your ground, and open carry laws.