Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Criminal Justice

Committee Chair

K.B. Turner

Committee Member

Margaret Vandiver

Committee Member

David Giacopassi


This study used an integrative theoretical approach. Criminological theories (deterrence and rational choice) were utilized in the theoretical framework for this study. A massive literature review was included in this study to help connect the theories being integrated. In the fall of 2010, approximately 505 students from the University of Memphis were used as the unit of analysis to examine their perceptions about offending, specifically, illegal parking. The respondents were all given a questionnaire that was used to measure two essential components of deterrence theory: certainty and severity of punishment. The questionnaire also asked the respondents about their perceptions of illegal parking issues on campus. This component assisted the researcher in testing rational choice theory as students underwent a cost/benefit analysis. Certainty and severity of punishment both proved to be factors that deterred the students from offending. However, students' perceptions about offending were not associated with students' actual offending patterns.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.