Deviant Lifestyles, Social Guardianship, and Social Isolation: Explaining Violent Victimization of Rural Adolescents Living in Poverty

Richard J. Spano, University of Alabama

Victimization research has focused predominantly on urban samples while neglecting in-depth study of rural youth. This study examines trends in robbery victimization over a 13 year time petiod and the applicability of lifestyle/routine activity theory to a sample of rural adolescents living in poverty in Alabama. Results indicate that robbery victimization is fairly stable over time, but males are less likely to be victimized then females. Race effects are incosistent over time. Multivate analyses of robbery and assault victimization indicate that blacks and males are less likely to be robbery victims after controlling for deviant lifestyles and social guardianship Social isolation is also a strong risk factor for both robbery and assault victimization. The theoretical implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006