Paradoxical reactions of property crime victims

  • Scott R. Beach
  • Martin S. Greenberg


Numerous studies have documented the negative impact of crime on victims’ emotions, beliefs, and behavior1,2. Far more attention has been focused on reactions to crimes of violence, such as rape, robbery, and assault, than on reactions to property crime, such as burglary and theft3. In an attempt to address this problem, the research reported here examined the impact of burglary and theft on victims’ beliefs and emotions. Three hypotheses were tested: (1) victims who perceive greater potential harm in the crime situation (i.e., believe that “it could have been worse”) will feel less “wronged” than victims not holding this belief; (2) victims will perceive themselves as having less control over future crime victimization than those who have not been victimized; (3) victims who take more security precautions such as installing special locks and security systems will be less distressed than victims who take fewer such precautions.


Property Crime Control Belief Future Victimization Paradoxical Reaction Residential Burglary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Greenberg, M. S., and Ruback, R. B., 1992, After the crime: Victim decision making. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Norris, F. H., Kaniasty, K., and Thompson, M. P., 1997, The psychological consequences of crime: Findings from a longitudinal population-based study. ln Victims of Crime (2nd ed) (R. C. Davis, A. J. Lurigio, and W. S. Skogan, eds.), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 146–166.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Frieze, I. H., Hymer, S., and Greenberg, M. S., 1987, Describing the crime victim: Psychological reactions to victimization. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 18: 299–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Horowitz, M., Wilner, N., and Alvarez, W., 1979, Impact of Event Scale: A measure of subjective distress. Psychosomatic Medicine 41: 209–218.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Goldberg, D. P., 1972, The detection of psychiatric illness by questionnaire. Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott R. Beach
    • 1
  • Martin S. Greenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.University Center for Social and Urban ResearchUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations