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Families, Neighborhoods, and Juvenile Victimization

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages
This brief report presents findings from the Pittsburgh Youth Study on the association between family composition, community of residence, and youth victimization.
Results indicated no significant relationship between family composition, community of residence, and youth victimization. More specifically, victimization was not significantly higher in young men from single parent households in disadvantaged neighborhoods nor was victimization significantly different between young men living in one- or two-parent households in non-disadvantaged neighborhoods. The study was an attempt to replicate the findings from a previous study (Lauritsen 2003) that drew on data from the National Crime Victimization Survey; this study found that children in single-parent families were at higher risk for victimization than children living with two parents. Data for the current study were drawn from the Pittsburgh Youth Study and focused on juveniles’ reports of criminal victimization in the youngest and oldest samples (average ages 9.7 years and 16 years, respectively). Victimization was measured as theft victimization, violent victimization, and total crime victimization while neighborhood socioeconomic status was determined by 1990 census data on 88 Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Data were analyzed using chi-square calculations. Limitations of the study are discussed and include the use of a static measure for family status, which precluded an analysis of whether recent family break-up might be associated with youth victimization. References, tables

Date Published: January 1, 2005