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Open AccessArticle

Risk for Researchers Studying Social Deviance or Criminal Behavior

Department of Criminal Justice, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, PA 16701, USA
Department of Educational Leadership, Learning, and Curriculum, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH 03264, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(4), 130;
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
Abstract: Researchers often encounter dangerous situations while conducting social research. The concept of risk to researchers refers to the possible harm that may occur to researchers while in the field or after leaving a research project. This study explores issues experienced by social scientists engaged in research on social deviance or criminal behavior. The goal of this research was to discover the types of risk experienced by social scientists and any mediating factors affecting the experience of risk. An online survey was conducted to gather data on issues experienced by social scientists. This study found that researchers experienced a variety of risks within the categories of physical/health, emotional, legal, and personal/professional. Each of the survey options for risk were reported by at least one respondent; however, the greatest number of risks reported were of an emotional or personal/professional nature. There were no mediating factors found to be significant in relation to the experience of risk. This was a surprising finding especially for the variable of gender as it is suggested that gender plays a role in the experience of difficulties. View Full-Text
Keywords: risk; danger; researcher; fieldwork risk; danger; researcher; fieldwork
MDPI and ACS Style

Brougham, P.L.; Uttley, C.M. Risk for Researchers Studying Social Deviance or Criminal Behavior. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 130.

AMA Style

Brougham PL, Uttley CM. Risk for Researchers Studying Social Deviance or Criminal Behavior. Social Sciences. 2017; 6(4):130.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brougham, Patricia L.; Uttley, Clarissa M. 2017. "Risk for Researchers Studying Social Deviance or Criminal Behavior" Soc. Sci. 6, no. 4: 130.

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