How safe are we? Introducing the multidimensional model of perceived personal safety

Stylianos Syropoulos*, Bernhard Leidner, Evelyn Mercado, Mengyao Li, Sophie Cros, Angel Gomez, Aphrodite Baka, Peggy Chekroun, Joshua Rottman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigations of individual differences in how safe people feel in their social lives have typically used single-item measures or indirect measures. To examine the multifaceted nature of perceived personal safety more comprehensively, we introduce a novel measurement model of perceived personal safety, validated over the course of 8 studies (5 main and 3 supplementary studies; total N = 4390). Three distinct factors capturing variance in perceived personal safety emerged, Feeling of Safety (i.e., experiencing security in day-to-day life), Fear of Crime (i.e., being afraid of victimization), and Safety Confidence (i.e., trusting one's own ability to remain safe). Studies 1–3 introduce a newly developed multidimensional model, providing evidence for its face and construct validity. Studies 4 A-4B suggest that the feeling of safety facet specifically relate to better mental health outcomes, even across the span of one year. Study 5 explored the cross-national validity of this model across four different European countries. Contrary to past conceptualizations, perceived personal safety appears to be multidimensional, with different facets affecting our lives in distinct ways.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112640
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date27 Mar 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 27 Mar 2024


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