A System of Paychecks and Balances: Consequences of Socioeconomic Status on Crime and Fear of Arrest
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Criminology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2016
This research study aims to examine the relationship between subjective socioeconomic status (SES) rankings of undergraduate students at Ohio State and participation in alcohol-related crimes, as well as perceived fear of arrest for those crimes. This topic is important to study because it can help us to understand if there are significant variations in alcohol related criminal activity between individuals of different classes, and if an individual’s class status is correlated with their apprehension that they may be arrested for their crimes. Understanding how class affects alcohol-related crimes (and crime in general) can help law enforcement to prosecute these crimes more fairly and more effectively. Additionally, understanding the relationship between SES and fear of arrest for alcohol-related crimes amongst college undergrads can inspire future studies to help law enforcement understand the implications of an arrest for an alcohol-related crime on an arrested individual. While literature on the subject of socioeconomic status and criminal activity/perceived probability of arrest is available, much of the existing data is outdated, not representative of the college population, and conducted abroad, thus not entirely generalizable to our culture of criminal justice in the United States. Data from this study was collected from 83 Ohio State undergraduate students via an online survey (a copy of which is provided at the end of this research paper), and analyzed using univariate (distribution and summary data) and bivariate (correlation and chi square) analysis. In conclusion, this study determines that there is no statistically significant relationship between socioeconomic status and crime (p=0.528) nor is there a statistically significant relationship between socioeconomic status and fear of arrest (p=0.543).
Academic Major: Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies