American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 119–140

The Role of Vicarious and Anticipated Strain on the Overlap of Violent Perpetration and Victimization: A Test of General Strain Theory


DOI: 10.1007/s12103-012-9163-5

Cite this article as:
Zavala, E. & Spohn, R.E. Am J Crim Just (2013) 38: 119. doi:10.1007/s12103-012-9163-5


Numerous studies have documented a relationship between criminal offending and violent victimization. That is, people who commit criminal behavior are also more likely to be victimized. As such, criminological theories traditionally used to explain criminal behavior have now been applied to explain victimization. The current study examines whether Agnew’s general strain theory can explain the offender-victim overlap using a nationally representative sample of males. Results show that vicarious strain is positive and significant in predicting both victimization and perpetration. Anticipated strain was found only to be significant and positive in predicting victimization, but not perpetration. The study’s limitations and future research are discussed.


Victim-offender overlapGeneral strain theoryVicarious strainAnticipated strain

Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Criminal Justice ProgramThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA