Date of Award
Master of Arts
Administration of Justice
Crime is a problem that many Americans would undoubtedly want to curtail. Routine activities theory provides a rather straightforward way of conceptualizing and then predicting criminal activity at the macro and micro levels. Cohen and Felson (1979), the original authors of routine activities theory, suggested that crime occurs during the simultaneous convergence of a motivated offender, suitable target, and a lack of capable guardians. Thus, as the authors alluded to, all three of the components are required in order for a criminal act to take place. Therefore, it is easy to see that citizens can take proactive steps to decrease their likelihood for criminal victimization. Several scholars have tested RA theory and have found support in urban and large national samples (e.g., Spano & Freilich, 2009). However, scholars have failed to provide insight into the adult rural population throughout the United States (in relation to RA theory). Therefore, the current study utilized a 2009 telephone survey of rural adults in order to test RA theory's applicability when attempting to explain burglary victimization in a rural environment. It is shown that motivation (percent in poverty) is the only component of the three to yield support for RA theory in the current study. Implications of the findings for theory, research, and policy are discussed.
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