Feeding the Fear of Crime: Crime-Related Media and Support for Three Strikes

By Valerie J. Callanan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Modeling Support for Three
Strikes

Punitive attitudes are influenced by a number of factors. Media effects are hypothesized to directly influence support for three strikes and indirectly as they influence respondents' perceptions of the amount of crime, seriousness of crime, just world beliefs, support for rehabilitation, and fear of crime, which are treated as intervening factors of support for three strikes. In turn, crime-related media consumption, fear of crime, just world beliefs, perceptions of the amount of crime, the seriousness of crime, and direct crime experiences (as victim or offender) are directly influenced by a number of exogenous sociodemographic variables suggested by the literature: age, gender, political party, income, and education. An outline of the theoretical model is shown in figure 4.1.


THE ANALYTICAL SCHEME

Since the theoretical model implies a causal link between crime-related media consumption, experiences with crime, crime perceptions, and other beliefs on support for three strikes, it is appropriate to analyze the data using structural equation modeling. This method uses the variance/covariance matrix of the model variables as input and provides maximum likelihood estimates of the coefficients in a set of linear structural equations of the variables. This allows for the simultaneous comparison of a set of independent (and intervening) variables to each other and of their unique contribution in explaining variation in a dependent construct.

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Feeding the Fear of Crime: Crime-Related Media and Support for Three Strikes
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Understanding American Punitive Attitudes 3
  • Chapter 2 - Public Opinion of Criminal Sentencing 17
  • Chapter 3 - Media and Public Opinion of Crime 53
  • Chapter 4 - Modeling Support for Three Strikes 91
  • Chapter 5 - Measuring Punitiveness and Related Factors 99
  • Chapter 6 - Explaining Punitiveness 121
  • Chapter 7 - Summing Up 151
  • Appendix A 181
  • Appendix B 189
  • References 201
  • Index 223
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