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Link Between Offending and Victimization Among Adolescents

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1991
26 pages
Longitudinal data from the first five waves of the National Youth Survey (NYS) conducted annually beginning in 1977 were examined to determine the effect of delinquent lifestyles on the criminal victimization of teenagers and young adults.
The NYS used a multistage, random sample of households in the United States and obtained a participation rate of 73 percent of all eligible youth. In 15 of 16 models examined, the extent of the respondent's involvement in delinquent lifestyles had the largest direct effect on assault, robbery, larceny, and vandalism victimization. The effect of delinquent lifestyle on total victimization remained when the reciprocal effect of victimization on delinquent lifestyle was controlled. Delinquent lifestyle activities had a considerable mediating effect on traditional sociodemographic risk factors. Delinquent lifestyle mediated approximately one-third to one-half of the effects of sex on victimization. These results support the contention that sex differences in victimization risk are reduced considerably once delinquent activity is taken into account. Victimization patterns among youths cannot be understood apart from criminal and deviant activities. 6 tables, 48 references, and 1 appendix (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1991