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Victim-Offender Overlap in Context: Examining the Role of Neighborhood Street Culture

NCJ Number
239417
Journal
Criminology Volume: 50 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2012 Pages: 359-390
Author(s)
Mark T. Berg; Eric A. Stewart; Christopher J. Schreck; Ronald L. Simons
Date Published
May 2012
Length
32 pages
Annotation

This research uses waves 1 and 2 of the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) to test the empirical validity of the hypothesis that the magnitude of the victim-offender overlap varies closely with neighborhood-based violent-conduct norms.

Abstract

Although numerous studies have found a strong relationship between offending and victimization risk, the etiology of this relationship is not well understood. Largely absent from this research is an explicit focus on neighborhood processes. However, theoretical work found in the subculture of violence literature implies that neighborhood street culture may help to account for the etiology of this phenomenon. Specifically, one should expect the magnitude of the victim-offender overlap to vary closely with neighborhood-based violent conduct norms. This research uses waves 1 and 2 of the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) to test the empirical validity of these notions. The results show that the victim-offender overlap is not generalizeable across neighborhood contexts; in fact, it is especially strong in neighborhoods where the street culture predominates, whereas it is significantly weaker in areas where this culture is less prominent. These results indicate that neighborhood-level cultural processes help to explain the victim-offender overlap, and they may cause this phenomenon to be context specific. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: May 1, 2012