On April 16, 2007, 32 students and faculty were killed on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus, making this incident the deadliest mass school shooting in United States history. Other school shootings, such as the infamous Columbine High School shootings and the more recent Northern Illinois State shootings, have become popular topics in today's social media (Kaminski et al, 2010; Reese 2009). Due to these events, schools and universities have become interested in the safety of their students as well as the students overall feelings towards crime while on their campus. New research studies have taken an interest in students' overall fear of crime and how this fear is impacted by variables including sex of the student and the time of day (Kaminski et al. 2010; Murray 2001). Though these studies have found who is more fearful of crime and which types of crime are feared most among their samples, these studies and others do not take into account whether the student is aware of shooting incidents that have occurred on college campuses around the country. The current study addresses this gap. The purpose of this study is to measure whether a University of Central Florida student's knowledge of mass school shootings influences their own levels of fear regarding crime and criminal victimization. Using an anonymous online survey, data from students at the University of Central Florida was collected and analyzed. The survey used quiz style questioning to gauge a students' overall knowledge on mass school shootings. Other questions such as demographics fear of various types of crime, and fear of different locations on campus were also asked.; This research addresses which areas of the University of Central Florida that students fear most (such as the Parking Garages), whether a student who lives in off campus housing is more fearful then a student who lives on campus, and whether having more knowledge of mass school shootings cause more fear of crime in students then those with less knowledge, and do students with more knowledge feel that they will be victimized more. This research hopes to help the University of Central Florida's Counseling center and well as the UCF Police Department to help understand students fears and needs to help create a safer learning environment and help those students in need in addition to adding to the overall literature on fear of crime.


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Thesis Completion





Donley, Amy


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Sociology Commons