Original Paper

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 319-340

First online:

Self-control, Victimization, and their Influence on Risky Lifestyles: A Longitudinal Analysis Using Panel Data

  • Christopher J. SchreckAffiliated withDepartment of Criminal Justice, Rochester Institute of Technology Email author 
  • , Eric A. StewartAffiliated withDepartment of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Missouri at St. Louis
  • , Bonnie S. FisherAffiliated withDivision of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati

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Abstract

This research expands past investigations into the influence of low self-control as a risk factor for criminal victimization. Specifically, we consider two questions: (1) whether low self-control at one point in time can predict future victimization, and (2) whether victims alter lifestyle choices (like their own delinquency and contact with delinquent peers) in response to their earlier victimization. We answered these questions using three waves of adolescent panel data from the evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training program. Our results support the predictions of self-control theory, showing that low self-control measured at an earlier time is associated with later victimization, even after controlling for past victimization, delinquency, social bonds, and delinquent peer contact. Likewise, self-control appears to influence the relationship between earlier victimization and later lifestyles.

Keywords

Victimization Lifestyles Self-control Panel design Routine activities