Risky Lifestyles: Emergency Department Utilization Among a Cohort of Homicide Arrestees and Victims

Lisa Broidy, University of New Mexico
Cameron Crandall, University of New Mexico
Jerry Daday, University of New Mexico
David Sklar, University of New Mexico

Criminologists tend to focus their attention on the dynamics of offending and treat victimization as theoretically and empirically distinct from offending (Esbensen and Huizinga, 1991). However, there is a growing body of empirical evidence to suggest that offending and victimization are intricately linked. This empirical work stems from lifestyle/routine activities theory (Hindelang et al., 1978), which argues that variations in lifestyle (particularly vocational and leisure activities), which are largely determined by demographic and structural characteristics, shape an individual's exposure to risk and ultimately, that individual's likelihood of victimization. We examine the linkage between offending and victimization by measuring emergency department utilization among a cohort of homicide arrestees and their victims before and after the offense. This study aims to document the nature of the victimization risks associated with a violent lifestyle, and to identify a set of patient (demographics), patient visit (day, time, method of arrival), and clinical (disease process, social history) characteristics that might be used to prospectively identify potential offenders and victims for targeted intervention.

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Updated 05/20/2006