Sociology Ph.D. Dissertations

Title

An Examination of Violent Victimization from Adolescence to Early Adulthood

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Danielle Kuhl (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Howard Cromwell (Other)

Third Advisor

Jorge Chavez (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Alfred DeMaris (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Ray Swisher (Committee Member)

Abstract

The study of developmental and life course criminology has greatly expanded our understanding of how individuals experience change and continuity of criminal behavior as they move through different stages of the life course. Research on victimization over the life course, however, has been more limited, leaving a gap in the understanding of pathways of victimization. Violent victimization in particular has long-term consequences that pose a public health problem signifying a need for research to determine factors that may help individuals reduce their risk of coming into contact with offenders. Drawing on theories of victimization and the life course perspective, I analyze group-based trajectories for street violence victimization and intimate partner violence victimization from adolescence to adulthood using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). First, I determine the number and shape of group trajectories and risk factors of group membership for both types of victimization. Next, I determine the overlap of victimization from adolescence to adulthood through examining the conditional and joint probability of group membership for street victimization and intimate partner violence victimization. In addition to determining the overlap of victimization, I examine risk factors that distinguish between experiencing street violence victimization and intimate partner violence victimization from adolescence to adulthood. Lastly, I examine time-varying factors related to changes in risk of street victimization and intimate partner violence victimization from adolescence to adulthood. Results indicate four group-based trajectories of street violence victimization from adolescence to adulthood for the sample: little to no victimization, low-decreasing victimization, increasing-repeated victimization, and high-decreasing victimization. I find, on the other hand, that three group-based trajectories of intimate partner violence victimization unfolded for the sample: low stable victimization, high-decreasing victimization, and high stable victimization. Risky lifestyles, childhood abuse, and disadvantaged backgrounds predict membership in groups who experience higher levels of street victimization and intimate partner violence victimization. The largest overlap of victimization experiences that I find is for those who experience little to no victimization for both groups, with the rest of the groups experiencing moderate overlap. Lastly, I find that increases in social capital via education decrease victimization risk from adolescence to adulthood and that increases in risky behaviors increase victimization risk over the life course. Finally, I find some differences of factors that predict changes in risk for street victimization and intimate partner violence victimization.

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