European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 163–177 | Cite as

Exploring the Relationship Between Offending and Victimization: What is the Role of Risky Lifestyles and Low Self-Control? A Test in Two Urban Samples

  • Lieven J. R. PauwelsEmail author
  • Robert Svensson


The present study explores the strength of the relationship between offending and victimization among young adolescents. We focus especially on the role background characteristics such as gender, immigrant background and family structure and causal mechanisms such as risky lifestyles and low self-control as many scholars have argued that the correlation between offending and victimization may be caused by common characteristics of offenders and victims. The article build upon two large-scale self-reported delinquency studies in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) and Halmstad (Sweden). The correlation between offending and victimization is strong, even when controlling for demographics, lifestyles and low self-control. However, the lifestyle and low self-control model predicts offending better than victimization and the independent effect of offending on victimization is larger than the independent effect of victimization of offending. The same pattern is found in both samples, suggesting the stability of findings. The implications of these findings are discussed.


Lifestyle risk Low self-control Offending Victimization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology and Penal Law, Research group Social Analysis of SecurityGhent UniversityGentBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and SocietyMalmö UniversityMalmoSweden

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