Integrating the General Theory of Crime Into an Explanation of Criminal Victimization Among Female Offenders

Eric A. Stewart, Georgia State University

In a recent article, Schreck (1999) reformulated Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) self-control theory into an explanation of victimization that examines the victim-offender overlap. His analysis of college students revealed that low self-control was significantly associated with various forms of victimization. We build on Schreck's work by assessing whether low self-control contributes to victimization among a high-risk sample of females, while controlling for routine activities/lifestyle behaviors. We advanced two research questions concerning the integration of low self-control into an explanation of victimization: (1 Can self-control theory account for variations in violent victimization? (2) Do routine activities/lifestyle behaviors mediate the effect of self-control theory as a useful explanation of violent victimization? The results were consistent with the hypothesis that low self-control is a risk factor for criminal victimization. Low self-control maintained a significant and direct effect on personal victimization, when controlling for risky lifestyle behaviors. Our results suggest that self-control theory may be important for examining victimization among female offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006