Criminological research has examined the role of neighborhood order in explaining perceptions of crime and official crime statistics for decades. When citizens perceive their neighborhood to be socially and/or physically disordered, community and interpersonal relationships diminish, mistrust increases – including perceptions of police legitimacy – and overall individual wellness decreases. While this literature is wellestablished, little is known about these interactions within a college population—these neighborhoods referred to as “studentification” and described as “student ghettos.” Student ghettos are known for visibly delinquent and socially frowned upon behaviors, heightened concern for sexual assaults and rape, and lack of respect and perceived legitimacy of university and local law enforcement. The current study sought to better understand students’ perceptions regarding social disorder, police legitimacy, and selfreported wellness. Findings indicate that women and those identifying as LGBTQIA+ fear crime at higher rates than men and reported lower levels of overall wellness, while all students perceive social disorder and police legitimacy similarly. Findings suggest perception of fear is the driving factor in influencing students’ overall wellness, suggesting colleges and universities must address the mere perception of crime to help ensure the health and well-being of their students.
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"Student ghettos: Fear of crime and perceptions of police legitimacy explain undergraduate perceptions of victimization and wellness,"
SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days: Vol. 2022, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/sacad/vol2022/iss2022/5