Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 183–206 | Cite as

Risky Lifestyles, Low Self-control, and Violent Victimization Across Gendered Pathways to Crime

  • Jillian J. TuranovicEmail author
  • Michael D. Reisig
  • Travis C. Pratt
Original Paper



The present study addresses whether unique or general processes lead to victimization across gendered pathways to crime. Specifically, the effects of low self-control and risky lifestyles—specified as various forms of offending and substance abuse—on violent victimization across developmental typologies for both men and women are examined.


Using data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a two-stage cluster analysis is used to identify taxonomic groups for males and females that represent different pathways to crime. Multivariate negative binomial regression models are estimated to assess whether both self-control and risky lifestyles (e.g., criminal offending) are significant predictors of general forms of violent victimization across each identified cluster.


Low self-control and risky lifestyles significantly predict violent victimization across each of the taxonomic groups identified in the data, suggesting that these causal processes are universal rather than unique to any particular gendered pathway.


Although inferences cannot be made for types of victimization beyond those observed in the study (e.g., intimate partner violence and sexual assault), the findings lend credence to the notion that self-control and risky lifestyles are critical to the study of violent victimization among men and women following different gendered pathways.


Risky lifestyles Self-control Victimization Pathways to crime Cluster analysis 


  1. Acock AC (2005) Working with missing values. J Marriage Fam 67:1012–1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldenderfer MS, Blashfield RK (1984) Cluster analysis. Sage, Beverly HillsGoogle Scholar
  3. Allison PD (2000) Multiple imputation for missing data: a cautionary tale. Sociol Methods Res 8:301–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson E (1999) Code of the street: decency, violence, and the moral life of the inner city. W. W. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Averdijk M, Loeber R (2012) The role of self-control in the link between prior and future victimization. Int Rev Vict 18:189–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baron SW, Forde DR, Kay FM (2007a) Self-control, risky lifestyles, and situation: the role of opportunity and context in the general theory. J Crim Justice 35:119–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baron SW, Forde DR, Kennedy LW (2007b) Disputatiousness, aggressiveness, and victimization among street youths. Youth Violence Juv Justice 5:411–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beaver KM, Mancini C, DeLisi M, Vaughn MG (2011) Resiliency to victimization: the role of genetic factors. J Interpers Violence 26:874–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Belknap J (2007) The invisible woman: gender, crime, and justice, 3rd edn. Wadsworth, BelmontGoogle Scholar
  10. Belknap J, Holsinger KL (2006) The gendered nature of risk factors for delinquency. Fem Criminol 1:48–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berg MT, Stewart EA, Schreck CJ, Simons RL (2012) The victim-offender overlap in context: examining the role of neighborhood street culture. Criminology 50:359–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bjarnason T, Sigurdardottir TJ, Thorlindsson T (1999) Human agency, capable guardians, and structural constraints: a lifestyle approach to the study of violent victimization. J Youth Adolesc 28:105–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Blum TC (1985) Structural constraints on interpersonal relations: a test of Blau’s macrosociological theory. Am J Sociol 91:511–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Boisvert D, Wright JP, Knopik V, Vaske J (2012) Genetic and environmental overlap between low self-control and delinquency. J Quant Criminol 28:477–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brame R, Paternoster R, Mazerolle P, Piquero AR (1998) Testing the equality of maximum-likelihood regression coefficients between two independent equations. J Quant Criminol 14:245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Breckenridge JN (2000) Validating cluster analysis: consistent replication and symmetry. Multivar Behav Res 35:261–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brennan T (1980) Mapping the diversity of runaways: a descriptive multivariate analysis of selected social psychological background conditions. J Fam Issues 1:189–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brennan T, Breitenbach M, Dieterich W, Salisbury EJ, Van Voorhis P (2012) Women’s pathways to serious and habitual crime: a person-centered analysis incorporating gender responsive factors. Crim Justice Behav 39:1481–1508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Brewin CR, Andrews B, Gotlib IH (1993) Psychopathology and early experience: a reappraisal of retrospective reports. Psychol Bull 113:82–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Carlin JB, Galati J, Royston P (2008) A new framework for managing and analyzing multiply imputed data with Stata. Stata J 8:49–67Google Scholar
  21. Carmines EG, Zellner RA (1979) Reliability and validity assessment. Sage, Newbury ParkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chesney-Lind M, Pasko L (2004) The female offender. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  23. Cloninger CR (1987) A systematic method for clinical description and classification of personality variants: a proposal. Arch Gen Psychiatry 44:573–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cloward RA, Ohlin LE (1960) Delinquency and opportunity. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Cohen LE, Felson M (1979) Social change and crime rate trends: a routine activity approach. Am Sociol Rev 44:588–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cohen AK, Short JF (1958) Research on delinquent subcultures. J Soc Issues 3:20–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Daigle LE, Beaver KM, Hartman JL (2008) A life-course approach to the study of victimization and offending behaviors. Vict Offender 3:365–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Daly K (1994) Gender, crime, and punishment. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  29. Dugan L, Apel R (2005) The differential risk of retaliation by relational distance: a more general model of violent victimization. Criminology 43:697–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dugan L, Castro JL (2006) Predictors of violent victimization: National Crime Victimization Survey women and jailed women. In: Heimer K, Kruttschnitt K (eds) Gender and crime: patterns in victimization and offending. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Everitt BS, Landau S, Leese M, Stahl D (2011) Cluster analysis, 5th edn. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Farrington DP (1995) Development of offending and antisocial behaviour from childhood: key findings from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 360:929–964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Felson M, Boba R (2010) Crime and everyday life, 4th edn. Sage, Thousand OaksCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fisher BS, Daigle LE, Cullen FT (2010) Unsafe in the ivory tower: the sexual victimization of college women. Sage, Thousand OaksCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Forde DR, Kennedy LW (1997) Risky lifestyles, routine activities, and the general theory of crime. Justice Q 14:265–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Franklin CA (2011) An investigation of the relationship between self-control and alcohol induced sexual assault victimization. Crim Justice Behav 38:263–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Franklin CA, Bouffard LA, Pratt TC (2012a) Sexual assault on the college campus: fraternity affiliation, male peer support, and low self-control. Crim Justice Behav 39:1457–1480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Franklin CA, Franklin TW, Nobles MR, Kercher GA (2012b) Assessing the effect of routine activity theory and self-control on property, personal, and sexual assault victimization. Crim Justice Behav 39:1296–1315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gibbons DC (1965) Changing the lawbreaker. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  40. Gibbons DC (1975) Offender typologies: two decades later. Br J Criminol 15:140–156Google Scholar
  41. Gorman-Smith D, Tolan PH, Henry DB (2000) A developmental-ecological model of the relation of family functioning to patterns of delinquency. J Quant Criminol 16:169–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gottfredson MR, Hirschi T (1990) A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press, StandfordGoogle Scholar
  43. Hagan J, Foster J (2003) S/he’s a rebel: toward a sequential stress theory of delinquency and gendered pathways to disadvantage in early adulthood. Soc Forces 82:53–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hair J, Black WC, Babin BJ, Anderson RE (2010) Multivariate data analysis, 7th edn. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  45. Harris KM (2011) Design features of Add Health. Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Available at projects/addhealth/data/guides/design paper WI-IV.pdf
  46. Heimer K, DeCoster S (1999) The gendering of violent delinquency. Criminology 37:277–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Higgins GE, Jennings WG, Tewksbury R, Gibson CL (2009) Exploring the link between low self-control and violent victimization trajectories in adolescents. Crim Justice Behav 10:1070–1084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hindelang MJ, Gottfredson MR, Garofalo J (1978) Victims of personal crime. Ballinger, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  49. Holtfreter K, Cupp R (2007) Gender and risk assessment: the empirical status of the LSI-R for women. J Contemp Crim Justice 23:363–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Holtfreter K, Reisig MD, Pratt TC (2008) Low self-control, routine activities, and fraud victimization. Criminology 46:189–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Holtfreter K, Beaver KM, Reisig MD, Pratt TC (2010a) Low self-control and fraud offending. J Financ Crime 17:295–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Holtfreter K, Reisig MD, Piquero NL, Piquero AR (2010b) Low self-control and fraud: offending, victimization, and their overlap. Crim Justice Behav 37:188–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Hu M, Davies M, Kandel DB (2006) Epidemiology and correlates of daily smoking and nicotine dependence among young adults in the United States. Am J Public Health 96:299–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Jennings WG, Higgins GE, Tewksbury R, Gover AR, Piquero AR (2010) A longitudinal assessment of the victim-offender overlap. J Interpers Violence 25:2147–2174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Jennings WG, Piquero AR, Reingle JM (2012) On the overlap between victimization and offending: a review of the literature. Aggress Violent Behav 17:16–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Jensen G, Brownfield D (1986) Gender, lifestyles, and victimization: beyond routine activity theory. Violence Vict 1:85–99Google Scholar
  57. Johansson P, Kempf-Leonard K (2009) A gender-specific pathway to serious, violent, and chronic offending? Exploring Howell’s risk factors for serious delinquency. Crime Delinq 55:216–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Keenan K, Loeber R, Green S (1999) Conduct disorder in girls: a review of the literature. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 2:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kerley KR, Xu X, Sirisunyaluck B (2008) Self-control, intimate partner abuse, and intimate partner victimization: testing the general theory of crime in Thailand. Deviant Behav 29:503–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Kruttschnitt C, Macmillan R (2006) The violent victimization of women: a life course perspective. In: Heimer K, Kruttschnitt K (eds) Gender and crime: patterns in victimization and offending. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Lauritsen JL (2010) Advances and challenges in empirical studies of victimization. J Quant Criminol 26:501–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lauritsen JL, Carbone-Lopez K (2011) Gender differences in risk factors for violent victimization: an examination of individual-, family-, and community predictors. J Res Crime Delinq 48:538–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lauritsen JL, Heimer K (2008) The gender gap in violent victimization, 1973–2004. J Quant Criminol 24:125–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Lauritsen JL, Heimer K (2010) Violent victimization among males and economic conditions: the vulnerability of race and ethnic minorities. Criminol Public Policy 9:665–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Loeber R (1982) The stability of antisocial and delinquent child behavior: a review. Child Dev 53:1431–1446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Loeber R, Wung P, Keenan K, Giroux B, Stouthamer-Loeber M, Van Kammen WB, Maugham B (1993) Developmental pathways in disruptive child behavior. Dev Psychopathol 5:103–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Lussier P, Van Den Berg C, Bijleveld C, Hendriks J (2012) A developmental taxonomy of juvenile sex offenders for theory, research, and prevention: the adolescent-limited and high-rate slow desister. Crim Justice Behav 39:1559–1581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. MacQueen J (1967) Some methods for classification and analysis of multivariate observations. In: Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Math, Statistics, and Probability (Vol 1.). University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  69. Maher L (1997) Sexed work: gender, race, and resistance in a Brooklyn drug market. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  70. Maher L, Curtis R (1992) Women on the edge of crime: crack cocaine and the changing contexts of street-level sex work in New York City. Crim Law Soc Chang 18:221–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Miethe TD, Meier RF (1990) Opportunity, choice, and criminal victimization: a test of a theoretical model. J Res Crime Delinq 27:243–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Miethe TD, Meier RF (1994) Crime and its social context: toward an integrated theory of offenders, victims, and situations. State University of New York Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  73. Miller EM (1986) Street woman. Temple University Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  74. Miller J (2008) Getting played: African American girls, urban inequality, and gendered violence. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  75. Miller SL, Burack C (1993) A critique of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime: selective (in) attention to gender and power positions. Women Crim Justice 4:115–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Miller J, Mullins CW (2006) The status of feminist theories in criminology. In: Cullen FT, Wright JP, Blevins KR (eds.) Taking stock: the status of criminological theory (Vol. 15). Transaction, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  77. Moffitt TE (1993) Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: a developmental taxonomy. Psychol Rev. 674–701Google Scholar
  78. Moffitt TE, Caspi A (2001) Childhood predictors differentiate life-course persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways among males and females. Dev Psychopathol 13:355–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Moffitt TE, Caspi A, Harrington H, Milne BJ (2002) Males on the life-course-persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways: follow-up at age 26 years. Dev Psychopathol 14:179–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Nagin D, Tremblay RE (1999) Trajectories of boys’ physical aggression, opposition, and hyperactivity on the path to physically violent and nonviolent juvenile delinquency. Child Dev 70:1181–1196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Ngo FT, Paternoster R (2011) Cybercrime victimization: an examination of individual and situational level factors. Int J Cyber Criminol 5:773–793Google Scholar
  82. Ousey GC, Wilcox P, Brummel S (2008) Déjá vu all over again: investigating temporal continuity of adolescent victimization. J Quant Criminol 24:307–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Ousey GC, Wilcox P, Fisher BS (2011) Something old, something new: revisiting competing hypotheses of the victimization-offending relationship among adolescents. J Quant Criminol 27:53–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Owen B (1998) In the mix: struggle and survival in a woman’s prison. State University of New York Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  85. Patterson GR, Debaryshe B, Ramsey E (1989) A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. Am Psychol 44:329–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Piquero AR, MacDonald J, Dobrin A, Daigle LE, Cullen FT (2005) Self-control, violent offending, and homicide victimization: assessing the general theory of crime. J Quant Criminol 21:55–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Pratt TC, Cullen FT (2000) The empirical status of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime: a meta-analysis. Criminology 38:931–964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Pratt TC, Turanovic JJ, Fox KA, Wright KA (2014) Self-control and victimization: a meta-analysis. Criminology 52:87–116Google Scholar
  89. Punj G, Stewart DW (1983) Cluster analysis in marketing research: review and suggestions for application. J Mark Res 20:134–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Reid JA, Sullivan CJ (2009) A latent class typology of juvenile victims and exploration of risk factors and outcomes of victimization. Crim Justice Behav 36:1001–1024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Reisig MD, Holtfreter K (2013) Shopping fraud victimization among the elderly. J Financ Crim 20:324–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Reisig MD, Pratt TC (2011) Low self-control and imprudent behavior revisited. Deviant Behav 32:589–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Reisig MD, Holtfreter K, Morash M (2006) Assessing recidivism risk across female pathways to crime. Justice Q 23:384–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Rumgay J (2004) Scripts for safer survival: pathways out of female crime. Howard J Crim Justice 43:405–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Salisbury EJ, Van Voorhis P (2009) Gendered pathways: a quantitative investigation of women probationers’ paths to incarceration. Crim Justice Behav 36:541–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Sampson RJ, Laub JH (2003) Life-course desisters? Trajectories of crime among delinquent boys followed to age 70. Criminology 41:555–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Sampson RJ, Laub JH (2005) Seductions of method: rejoinder to Nagin and Tremblay’s “developmental trajectory groups: fact or fiction?”. Criminology 43:905–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Schafer JL (1997) Analysis of incomplete multivariate data. Chapman & Hall, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Schreck CJ (1999) Criminal victimization and low self-control: an extension and test of a general theory of crime. Justice Q 16:633–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Schreck CJ, Wright RA, Miller JM (2002) A study of individual and situational antecedents of violent victimization. Justice Q 19:159–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Schreck CJ, Stewart EA, Fisher BS (2006) Self-control, victimization, and their influence on risky lifestyles: a longitudinal analysis using panel data. J Quant Criminol 22:319–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Schreck CJ, Ousey GC, Fisher BS, Wilcox P (2012) Examining what makes violent crime victims unique: extending statistical methods for studying specialization to the analysis of crime victims. J Quant Criminol 28(4):651–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Silver E (2002) Mental disorder and violent victimization: the mediating role of involvement in conflicted social relationships. Criminology 40:191–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Simpson SS (1989) Feminist theory, crime, and justice. Criminology 27:602–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Simpson SS (1991) Caste, class, and violent crime: explaining differences in female offending. Criminology 29:115–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Stewart EA, Elifson KW, Sterk CE (2004) Integrating the general theory of crime into an explanation of violent victimization among female offenders. Justice Q 21:159–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Stewart EA, Schreck CJ, Simons RL (2006) ‘I ain’t gonna let no one disrespect me’: does the code of the street reduce or increase violent victimization among African American adolescents? J Res Crime Delinq 43:427–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Taylor TJ, Peterson D, Esbensen F, Freng A (2007) Gang membership as a risk factor for adolescent violent victimization. J Res Crime Delinq 44:351–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Taylor TJ, Freng A, Esbensen F, Peterson D (2008) Youth gang membership and serious violent victimization: the importance of lifestyles and routine activities. J Interpers Violence 23:1441–1464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Tillyer MS, Fisher B, Wilcox P (2011) The effects of school crime prevention on students’ violent victimization, risk perception, and fear of crime: a multilevel opportunity perspective. Justice Q 28:249–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Turanovic JJ, Pratt TC (2013) The consequences of maladaptive coping: integrating general strain and self-control theories to specify a causal pathway between victimization and offending. J Quant Criminol 29:321–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  112. Turanovic JJ, Pratt TC (2014) “Can’t stop, won’t stop”: self-control, risky lifestyles, and repeat victimization. J Quant Criminol 30:29–56Google Scholar
  113. Udry JR (2003) The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), Waves I and II, 1994–1996; Wave III, 2001–2002 [Machine-readable data file and documentation]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population CenterGoogle Scholar
  114. Vaughn MG, DeLisi M, Beaver KM, Howard MO (2008) Toward a quantitative typology of burglars: a latent profile analysis of career offenders. J Forensic Sci 53:1387–1392Google Scholar
  115. Walsh A (2002) Biosocial criminology: introduction and integration. Anderson, CincinnatiGoogle Scholar
  116. Ward JH (1963) Hierarchical grouping to optimize and objective function. J Am Stat Assoc 58:236–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Whitbeck LB, Hoyt DR, Yoder KA (1999) A risk-amplification model of victimization and depressive symptoms among runaway and homeless adolescents. Am J Community Psychol 27:273–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. White IR, Royston P, Wood AM (2011) Multiple imputation using chained equations: issues and guidance for practice. Stat Med 30:377–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Widom CS (1989) Child abuse, neglect, and violent behavior. Criminology 27:251–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Widom CS, Shepard RL (1996) Adult recollections of childhood victimization: part 1. Childhood physical abuse. Psychol Assess 8:412–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  121. Wilcox P, Tillyer MS, Fisher BS (2009) Gendered opportunity? School-based adolescent victimization. J Res Crime Delinq 46:245–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jillian J. Turanovic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael D. Reisig
    • 1
  • Travis C. Pratt
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2. Corrections InstituteUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations