Crime and fear of crime are often cited as contributors to low physical activity across the lifespan, but the data are surprisingly inconsistent. Previous studies relied on simplistic models and poorly-developed measures to examine the relationship between fear of crime and physical activity, which may contribute to inconsistent results. This study proposes a new model based on criminological theory and research on personal experiences with crime, cognitive and emotional responses to crime, and behavioral responses to crime, to examine relationships with physical activity and other CVD-related behaviors. The proposed CRIME-PA project will evaluate a trans-disciplinary conceptual model of the relation of crime and crime-related perceptions to physical activity and other CVD-related outcomes across the lifespan. This project will proceed in two phases: The formative research phase will involve systematic development of a set of measures, using age-specific focus groups and interviews with expert informants to assess perceptions of and responses to crime for 4 age groups: Older adults (66 yrs and older), Middle-Age Adults (40-65 yrs), Younger Adults (18-39 yrs), and Adolescents (12-17 yrs). We will draw on results from the focus groups and interviews, as well as existing measures from criminology, to develop a set of scales of crime-related perceptions that can be applied across the lifespan. During the second phase, 500 participants in each of the 4 age groups (n=2000) will be re-recruited from our previous studies of residents of diverse neighborhoods in 3 US regions - San Diego, CA, Seattle/King County, WA and Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC. Construct validity will be assessed by testing associations of each scale with objectively measured physical activity (accelerometers) and self- reported activity in specific domains (leisure, transport) and settings (indoors/outdoors, in/out o neighborhood, parks). The primary aim is to evaluate the independent and joint contributions of crime risk and crime- related perceptions to the explanation of physical activity outcomes, adjusting for personal and neighborhood SES and other confounders. The secondary aims are (1) to develop measures of crime- related scales and evaluate their reliability and factor invariance, and (2) to evaluate the construct validity of the new crime-related measures compared to physical activity. Exploratory aims will examine moderators of crime perception--physical activity associations and explore relations with secondary outcomes of sedentary behavior, obesity, waist circumference, stress, smoking, and alcohol use. Pilot studies indicate re- recruitment rates of over 80%, 6-10 years later. We will assess invariance of new measures across age groups to determine whether common measures are possible or age-specific measures are required. The integration of criminology collaborators, concepts, and measures into the project promises to result in new measures of crime-related perceptions are more definitive analyses that can substantially advance the field.

Public Health Relevance

Crime and fear of crime are often cited as contributors to low physical activity across the lifespan, but the data are surprisingly inconsistent. This study proposes a new model based on criminological theory and research on personal experiences with crime, cognitive and emotional responses to crime, and behavioral responses to crime, to examine relationships with physical activity and other CVD-related behaviors. The proposed project will evaluate a trans-disciplinary conceptual model of the relation of crime and crime-related perceptions to physical activity and other CVD-related outcomes across the lifespan.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HL117884-02
Application #
8725225
Study Section
Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
Program Officer
Boyington, Josephine
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of California San Diego
Department
Family Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
City
La Jolla
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92093