Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Tina Jaeckle

Committee Member

James Pann

Committee Member

Marcelo Castro


Campus Crime, Campus Personal/Violent Crime, Campus Property Crime, Clery Act, Social Disorganization Theory


This study was designed to examine the predictors of campus crime. College campuses are not immune to crime, and as such, campus crime is a concern not only for those students who reside and attend classes on the campus, but also for those who work on the campus and for the parents of the college students. The attention to crime on college campuses has increased in the recent past. This is due to events that have occurred on college campuses including the events at both Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois that resulted in the deaths of students and faculty/staff. To determine whether there are predictors of campus crime, 2019 data from the Campus Safety and Security Data Cutting Tool (Clery Act statistics) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for 88 colleges/universities that received Title IV funding and had either a campus police department or campus security department were examined to determine whether there was statistical significance between the predictor variables and the outcome variables. In addition, data from the Uniform Crime Reporting program and the U.S. Census Bureau were used to identify potential predictor variables that pertain to the areas surrounding the college campuses. The study also looked at whether college/university proxies for the elements of social disorganization theory can be used to predict campus crime. The study design consisted of nonexperimental research utilizing a correlational approach with a predictive design to address the question of which combination(s) of independent variables best predict the occurrence of future crime on college campuses in Massachusetts.

The results of the study found 2 of the of the 8 regression models to be statistically significant. These models identified only one significant independent variable and it pertained to the surrounding areas variables and was the percent of individuals 16+ in the civilian workforce, and it was related to campus property crime. Regarding the proxies for social disorganization theory, both regression models were statistically significant, yet only one independent variable was significant. The results showed that the ratio of clubs to students was statistically significantly related to the property crime on the college campuses. Regarding this finding, campus administrators are encouraged to seek to enhance the security that is available for events convened by the organizations and to develop policies that look to encourage those in the campus community to be better protectors of their property no matter where they are on the campus and not matter what they are doing on the campus, as opposed to blindly removing or eliminating clubs/organizations from their campuses.