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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70186 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Victims in a Subculture of Crime - An Analysis of the Social and Criminal Backgrounds of Surveyed Victims in the Birth Cohort Follow-Up
Author(s): S I Singer
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 193
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-NI-AX--0043
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study extends criminological theory to account for the observed relationships between victim and offender; following an analysis of cohort study followup data, the study proposes some theoretical implications about criminals as victims.
Abstract: A review of the literature about conceptual links between victims and offenders shows two distinct theories: (1) victimization experience may be significant in explaining criminal behavior, and (2) victimization is the result of the victim's availability, attractiveness, or lifestyle. To describe the amount of crime committed against cohort members and to analyze victims in relation to their background, the researcher conducted a followup of a 1972 cohort study, 'Delinquency in a Birth Cohort.' Researchers interviewed 576 subjects. Some of the potential effects of response and nonresponse error are emphasized; frequencies and probabilities of all surveyed victimizations are presented for each age period; and victims are classified into categories based on the seriousness of surveyed incidents. Characteristics of victrims including their criminal and social backgrounds are described. Tests of significance are applied to tabulations for different types of victim experiences. The study concludes that measures of delinquency and crime appear to account for more of the probability of being a victim than the social background variables. Although race as a control variable contributes substantially to much of the observed relationships, a lifestyle seems to exist for the cohort population in which victimization is a common event for those involved in committing crime. The relationship apears specific to violent victimizations and not the more typical property offenses. Mathematical models are introduced to test for the significance of the relationships. Some theoretical implications are derived from the results; among them is the proposition that the greater the chance of being the victim of a serious assault, the higher the probability the individual will commit an assault. Tabular data are included, and a cohort followup interview questionnaire is appended. A name index and approximately 180 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Criminology; Victim crime precipitation; Victim-offender relationships; Victimization models; Victimology
Note: University of Pennsylvania - doctoral dissertation
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