2019 Graduate Student Showcase

Title of Submission

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Against Minors: A Spatial Application of Routine Activity Theory

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, MA

Major Advisor Name

Lisa Bostaph

Type of Submission

Scholarly Poster


Routine Activity Theory has been repeatedly tested as an explanation for a variety of criminal behaviors. Environmental and spatial theories of crime have also been of increasing interest. Reported incidents of sex-related crimes against minors were mapped using spatial software, tested for clustering, and run through a multivariate spatially-lagged regression to determine the applicability of Routine Activity Theory. The probability of clustering in areas with less guardianship was investigated using a lack of guardianship measure from census data. The results suggest ways for law enforcement agencies to focus limited resources and identify spatial influence on the occurrence of these crimes.

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