From Childhood Victim to Adult Criminal: Racial/Ethnic Differences in Patterns of Victimization–Offending among Americans in Early Adulthood
Social Work and Human Services
© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. A sample of Americans in early adulthood was surveyed to determine (1) whether and how victimization shapes future offending among non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics and to examine (2) whether and how a victimization–offending relationship differs by race/ethnicity. Study data came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort. Violent victimization was indicated by experiencing bullying or by having seen a person suffer a gunshot; each variable was measured once for childhood and once for adolescence. Criminal offending was indicated by arrest(s) occurring after a respondent’s immediate past interview with a researcher, covering 2004–2015, and we used a final sample numbering 58,783 person-waves for our study. Needing to consider repeat measures of the same variables over time, we used generalized estimating equations (GEE) in our data analysis. Generally, the results showed that an experience of violent victimization in childhood increased the likelihood of crime commission in early adulthood, across all racial/ethnic groups. Yet for each distinct group, we also observed a distinct pattern(s) in the victimization–offending relationship. Minimizing offending thus will require exploiting what is known (and what is learned in the future) about race/ethnicity’s role in victimization.
Victims and Offenders
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)