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Abstract

While relatively few people are victims of criminal attack each year, many people fear personal crime and take safety precautions that limit their lives. This paper proposes a model of crime as an environmental stressor in order to explicate the links between the threat of criminal attack and people's attitudinal and behavioral reactions to that danger. Processes that affect both the assessment of the extent of danger and the choice of strategies to reduce that danger are examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of the social policy implications of an environmental stress model of crime.