Journal Article

Adolescents’ Violent Victimization 
in the Neighbourhood

David Maimon and Christopher R. Browning

in The British Journal of Criminology

Published on behalf of Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (formerly ISTD)

Volume 52, issue 4, pages 808-833
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0007-0955
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1464-3529 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azs013
Adolescents’ Violent Victimization 
in the Neighbourhood

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Although recent research demonstrates the relevance of situational and structural-level processes in determining youth violent victimization, only scant attention has been given to these processes’ potential interactions. Accordingly, we study the interactive effects of unstructured socializing with peers, peer group orientation and neighbourhood social processes on adolescents’ violent victimization experiences in their neighbourhoods. Incorporating hypotheses from the routine activities and collective efficacy theories, we hypothesize that, while unstructured socializing with peers increases adolescents’ violent victimization, this effect is likely to be conditioned by the conventionality of peers and by the neighbourhood social context. We test this idea using data available in the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighbourhoods. Two important findings are reported. First, while unstructured socializing with peers is positively related to youths’ violent victimization in the neighbourhood, neighbourhood collective efficacy is negatively related to this outcome. Second, a significant and negative three-way cross-level interaction suggests that unstructured socializing with conventional peers is associated with violent victimization, but only when such activities occur within low collective efficacy neighbourhoods.

Keywords: violent victimization; youth; neighbourhoods; multilevel models; violent victimization

Journal Article.  10716 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminology

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