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Violent Victimization as a Risk Factor for Violent Offending Among Juveniles

NCJ Number
195737
Date Published
Author(s)
Shaffer, J. N., Ruback, R. B.
Annotation
This bulletin examines victimization and offending experiences in subgroups of juveniles classified by age, gender, race, and level of physical development and identifies risk and protective factors for victimization and offending utilizing information from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
Abstract
Juveniles have high rates of violent victimization and violent offending, suggesting that some juveniles are both victims and perpetrators of violence. This bulletin analyzes the relationships between violent victimizations and violent offending across a 2-year period, using data for 5,003 juveniles who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The participant sample consisted of juveniles ages 11- to 17-years-old addressing three issues: (1) how were violent victimization and violent offending related over time; (2) what individual-level factors might explain the relationship between victimization and offending; and (3) does drug use affect the relationship between victimization and offending? The study focused on violence among juveniles for three reasons: (1) to concentrate on the most serious offenses since less is known about the violent victimization of juveniles than about the violent victimization of adults; (2) because many fewer juveniles engage in violence than in property offending and in minor deviant acts; and (3) the data source for the analyses included measures of non-violent offending but not nonviolent victimization. The analyses indicates that violent victimization is an important risk factor for subsequent violent offending, repeat offending is more common than repeat victimization, and violent victimization and violent offending share many of the same risk factors. Several policy implications were found in this analysis that included: (1) some groups are at higher risk than others for violent victimization; (2) violent victimization is a warning signal for future violent victimization; (3) violent victimization is a warning signal for future violent offending; and (4) many of the risk factors associated with juvenile violence suggest opportunities for intervention. Recommendations and suggestions for future research are presented and discussed. References and tables
Date Created: August 11, 2014