Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Fall 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Law and Justice

Committee Chair

Cody Stoddard

Second Committee Member

Roger Schaefer

Third Committee Member

Michael Harrod


The present study responds to the gap in our understanding of perceptions of crime and disorder in younger age groups, and in a rural setting. A survey was administered to collected students’ perception of crime and disorder on campus, of those surveys 655 students responded. A factor analysis using a varimax rotation was used to group similar variables into latent variables. Three factors emerged: (1) general perception of crime and disorder, (2) traffic congestion, and (3) alcohol and drug abuse. Various analytical techniques were also used, such as OLS (ordinary least squares) regression, difference of means, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Findings in this study suggest that gender plays the largest role. In particular, gender was a significant predictor in Alcohol and Drug Disorder, and in perceptions of Traffic Disorder models. However, it did not have an impact in explaining students’ perception of crime and disorder in the General Crime Model. Students who lived on campus perceived greater levels of drug and alcohol on campus when compared to students who live off campus. Moreover, a key finding in this research is students’ perceptions of the CWU Police Effectiveness factor, it played a role in the General Crime Model. Students’ perceptions of general crime on campus, which includes; People harassing or intimidating others, litter and trash, vandalism, theft, assault, robbery, intimate partner violence, and stalking was mediated by their perceptions of CWU police effectiveness.