ROUTINE ACTIVITY THEORY
Routine-activity theory developed
in the 1970's to explain variations in victimization
survey rates among categories of persons, areas or over time.
Dependent on the notions of life style exposure and opportunity, routine
activity theory argues that it is the life styles (ie: their routine-activities) of young
males which explains their high rate of victimization compared to seniors.
Routine activity theory argues
that it is the changes in routine-activities accompanying the increase in small households
and two-income families which has increased the opportunity for property crimes.
Routine activity theory explains
crime events as the convergence in time and space of likely offenders and suitable targets
in the absence of capable guardians. - (Cohen & Felson 1979)
The Novelty of
Cybercrime - An Assessment in Light of Routine Activity Theory
Majid Yar, University of Kent.
cybercrime focus upon the apparent novelty or otherwise of the phenomenon.
Authors claim that such crime is not qualitatively different from terrestrial
crime, and can be analysed and explained using established theories of crime
causation. One such approach, oft cited, is the routine activity theory
developed by Marcus Felson and others.
This article explores the extent
to which the routine activity theorys concepts and aetiological schema can be
transposed to crimes committed in a virtual environment. Substantively, the
examination concludes that, although some of the routine activity theorys core
concepts can indeed be applied to cybercrime, there remain important differences between
virtual and terrestrial worlds that limit the routine activity
A Routine Activity Theory
Explanation for Women's Stalking Victimizations
ELIZABETH EHRHARDT MUSTAINE, The University of Central Florida
RICHARD TEWKSBURY, University of Louisville
Drawing on surveys administered to 861 university women in nine institutions, this article
presents a routine activity theory model for predicting stalking victimization likelihood
for women. Using routine activity theory, the model highlights lifestyle behaviors and
interactions as predictors of stalking victimization. Whereas routine activity theory
often highlights the role of demography and statuses as
predictors, this analysis emphasizes the role of women's social
interactions and substance use in victimization risk.
Routine Activity Theory
And The Risk Of Rape: Analyzing Ten Years Of National Crime Survey Data -
Joanne Belknap, University of Cincinnati
This analysis applies routine activity theory to the risk of rape, using 10 years
(1973-82) of NCS data. In addition to univariate analysis describing characteristics of
the victimization itself, bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis (discriminant) are employed to
assess the risk of rape, comparing 762 rape and attempted rape victims with 2,523 randomly
selected non-rape victims. Most characteristics concerning the rape incident itself (e.g.,
time of day and season) were consistent with routine activity theory. However, the place
of occurrence was not. Additionally, discriminant analysis showed that marital status,
age, family income, and the number of living units per structure appear to be the
strongest predictors of the risk of rape. Unlike most prior research, race was not a
factor in the risk of rape, although race was correlated with those factors influencing
the risk of rape.
The Challenges of Testing
Routine Activity Theory - Skubak, Marie,
Abstract: Routine activity theory (Cohen & Felson 1979) explains crime events as the
convergence in time and space of likely offenders and suitable targets in the absence of
capable guardians. Although the theory describes characteristics associated with events,
no study to date has tested the effective
guardianship on crime events. Existing tests of the theory have limitations due to 1)
design, 2) level of measurement, 3) level of study,
and/or 4) failure to include measures of all theoretical constructs in the test. This
poster will present a review of existing tests of routine activity theory, a critique of
the operationalization of guardianship, and a framework for future tests of routine
Global Warming and U.S. Crime Rates - An Application of Routine Activity
James Rotton, Ellen G. Cohn
Two archival analyses were performed to examine the association between annual
temperatures and U.S. crime rates. The first was based on area-averaged temperatures in
the United States as a whole for the years 1950 through 1999. Box-Jenkins time-series
analyses indicated that annual temperatures were associated with assault but not murder
rates in analyses that controlled for yearly population, ethnicity, and three economic variables.
The second analysis was based on state-centered crime rates from 1960-1998. The results
are consistent with a routine activity theory interpretation of everyday and criminal
Socioecological Models of Automotive Theft: Integrating Routine Activity and
Social Disorganization Approaches - Kennon J. Rice, William R. Smith
This study explores causes of variation in auto theft rates using spatial data with
faceblocks as a unit of analysis. An integration of routine activity theory and social disorganization theory is proposed,
premised on an empirical basis of interaction effectsand a pattern of automobile theft
diffusion. The results show that the integration of social disorganization theory and
routine activity theory significantly increases the predictive power of the analyses and
reveals several new socioecological implications for how and why auto theft occurs.
EXPLORING THE GEOGRAPHY OF ROUTINE ACTIVITY THEORY:- A SPATIO-TEMPORAL TEST USING
STREET ROBBERY - Elizabeth Ruth Groff, Ph.D., 2006, Co-Directed By: Ralph
Dubayah, Professor, Geography
David Weisburd, Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice
The concepts of routine activity theory (RAT) (Cohen and Felson, 1979) are formalized in a
computational laboratory representing Seattle, Washington. The computational environment
for implementation, Agent Analyst, merges agent-based modeling (ABM) software with
geographic information systems (GIS). A strategy for developing activity spaces is
implemented and demonstrates how agents can move along existing street networks, and land
use patterns can be used to create representational activity spaces. Three versions of a
model of street robbery are developed; each version implements a different level of
constraints on agents routine activities. In one version (Simple), individuals are
either at home or not at home. In another, individuals follow a temporal schedule
(Temporal). Last, individuals schedules are both temporally and spatially
constrained (Activity Space). A series of experiments are conducted which compare the
incidence and spatial pattern of street robbery events from each version.
The results of the experiments provide strong evidence of the important role routine
activities play in street robbery events. The addition of temporal and spatio-temporal
schedule constraints reduces the incidence and changes the pattern of street robberies.
Support for routine activity theorys premise, as time spent away from home increases
street robbery will increase, is found in the Simple and Temporal, but not the Activity
Space version of the model.