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Threatened by violence: affective and cognitive reactions to violent victimization

Jackson, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0003-2426-2219 and Gouseti, Ioanna (2016) Threatened by violence: affective and cognitive reactions to violent victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31 (18). pp. 2987-3016. ISSN 0886-2605

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0886260515584336


Stranger violence can have a variety of different physical, psychological, social and economic effects on the victim. In this paper we address one possible impact: namely, a heightened sense of uncertainty, risk and fear of violent crime. Drawing on recent advances in the psychology of risk, we make three contributions. First, we differentiate in our analysis between primary experience of violence (where the individual in question has been attacked by a stranger in the local streets) and secondary experience of violence (where the individual knows somebody who has been attacked in the local streets by a stranger). Second, we assess whether risk perception (beliefs about the likelihood, impact and controllability of future victimization) mediates the empirical links between primary and secondary experience of violence and worry about violent crime. Finally, we examine whether victimization experience seems to have a greater impact on risk perception and worry among people with a high need for cognitive closure (who are averse to uncertainty and desire order and structure in their lives). Our findings indicate a number of potentially important mediating and moderating effects regarding the impact of stranger violence on fear of violent crime. We conclude with some implications for research and policy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 10:23
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:20

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