The Role of “Problematic” and “Improved” Indicators of Risky Lifestyles in the Self-Control/Lifestyle Framework of Victimization Among Filipino Adolescents

Abstract

Pratt and Turanovic (European Journal of Criminology, 13(1):129–146, 2016) argue that previous studies operationalizing risky lifestyles as mere “going out” (problematic indicators of risky lifestyles) were misspecified and that “improved” indicators of risky lifestyle (risky behaviors) would perform better than “problematic” indicators in models that explain victimization. This study examines these propositions by testing the self-control/lifestyle framework of victimization using the data from a random sample of Filipino high school students at a state university in Dumaguete City, Philippines. Results show strong support to Pratt and Turanovic’s claims. Self-control has stronger effects on improved indicators than on problematic ones. And, improved indicators have stronger effects than problematic indicators on property, violent, peer/sibling and sexual victimization. Moreover, the findings provide partial support for the self-control/lifestyle framework of victimization.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Note, however, that there have been studies conducted in the past using specific measures of risky lifestyles. For example, Mustaine and Tewksbury (1998) found that general measures of lifestyle (e.g. number of evenings spent away from home) are less important than specific measures (e.g. illegal behaviors) in predicting larceny victimization. See also other studies using specific risky lifestyle measures in the review by Spano and Freilich (2009).

  2. 2.

    The state university is currently offering a senior high school, because 2016 was the first year that the Philippines adopted a K+12 curriculum in basic education. And, higher education institutions (private and public) helped in the implementation by offering senior high schools, because the basic educational institutions do not have enough capacity to offer all programs in the senior high.

  3. 3.

    The school was selected due to logistical reasons. However, it may be a good site for testing the current models, because it has a good mix of students from different areas of the province. And, most of the students, who come from middle and lower social economic status, may have higher levels of risky lifestyles and lower levels of self-control compared to the students in the affluent schools in the city.

  4. 4.

    There were originally six items in this index. But, one item (i.e. hate crime victimization) was deleted. As one reviewer noted, hate crime victimization does not fit with the other violent victimization items, because it is largely determined by the victim’s status and not self-control or risky lifestyle. This was tested by building multivariate models, which show that none of the predictors significantly predict it.

  5. 5.

    Most researchers would point out a cut-off point of 0.70 alpha for reliability (allegedly) based on Jum Nunnally’ work on psychometric tests (Nunnally 1967; Nunnally 1978). However, Lance et al. (2006) posit that this criterion is a “myth,” as Nunnally did not specifically state a uniform, rigid criterion of 0.70. Nunnally sees a reliability standard as relative. For applied and basic research (where stakes are high such as in ability tests), it is desirable that measures have alphas of 0.90–0.95. But, for preliminary research, one can accept an alpha of 0.70 (Nunnally 1978) or even lower up to 0.50–0.60 (Nunnally 1967). Also, Kline (1999) stated that alphas lower than 0.70 are expected for psychological constructs (see also Field 2013) and are therefore acceptable.

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Correspondence to Dan Jerome Barrera.

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Barrera, D.J. The Role of “Problematic” and “Improved” Indicators of Risky Lifestyles in the Self-Control/Lifestyle Framework of Victimization Among Filipino Adolescents. Asian J Criminol 13, 175–191 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11417-018-9265-1

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Keywords

  • Self-control
  • Risky lifestyles
  • Victimization
  • Philippines