U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Repeat and Multiple Victimizations: The Role of Individual and Contextual Factors

NCJ Number
Date Published
36 pages
Publication Series
This research used hierarchical modeling to examine the relative contributions of factors related to the victim and the offense context, with attention to the interaction of these factors in models of both repeat victimization (more than one of the same type of crime) and multiple victimization (two or more different types of crime).
Research which shows that both repeat and multiple victimizations tend to be clustered among a few individuals and in a few places does not address the larger question about why some individuals or households are at greater risk than others. In attempting to answer this question, research and theory have focused on the characteristics of the places where these individuals are likely to be and on those individuals' demographic and lifestyle characteristics. Rather than consider only the additive effects of individual-level and place-level factors, it is necessary to determine how crime opportunity factors might operate differently depending on the particular neighborhood context. The current study applied this multi-level approach and the measures used by Rountree et al. (1994) to models for repeat and multiple victimization. The study also used the same victimization survey data from Seattle that Rountree et al. used, because it was one of the few available data sets that had both a large sample size (residents from 300 Seattle neighborhoods) and contextual information. Using telephone survey data from the multi-stage sample of Seattle residents, the research estimated separate hierarchical models for repeat property victimizations, repeat violent victimizations, and multiple victimizations. The results indicated that repeat victimization of both types varied substantially by neighborhood; whereas, multiple victimization was apparently determined more by individual-level factors. This report draws implications for social disorganization theory, routine activity/lifestyle exposure theory, and future work on repeat victimization. 3 tables and 27 references

Date Published: January 1, 1999