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Experienced and vicarious victimization: Do social support and self-esteem prevent delinquent responses?


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  • Kort-Butler, Lisa A.
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    This article extended research that views violent victimization as a stressor that may lead to delinquency. Following general strain theory, the analysis considered the mediating role of fearfulness, depression, and anxiety. The analysis also examined whether social support and self-esteem conditioned the relationship between victimization and delinquency. Results indicated that negative emotions did not substantially mediate the effect of victimization on delinquency. Among those with lower levels of both social support and self-esteem, experiencing violent victimization and witnessing victimization led to general delinquency. Victimization was unrelated to general delinquency among those with higher levels of both these resources. Experiencing victimization led to violent delinquency for all groups. Witnessing victimization and perceiving an unsafe neighborhood led to violent delinquency only among those with lower levels of both resources. Additionally, negative emotions and a bad temper led to violent delinquency only for those low in resources. The results suggested that fostering social support networks and self-esteem among adolescents victimized by violence can limit delinquency.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Criminal Justice.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 496-505

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:4:p:496-505

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    1. Capowich, George E. & Mazerolle, Paul & Piquero, Alex, 2001. "General strain theory, situational anger, and social networks: An assessment of conditioning influences," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 445-461.
    2. Turner, Heather A. & Finkelhor, David & Ormrod, Richard, 2006. "The effect of lifetime victimization on the mental health of children and adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 13-27, January.
    3. Hay, Carter & Evans, Michelle M., 2006. "Violent victimization and involvement in delinquency: Examining predictions from general strain theory," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 261-274.
    4. Ostrowsky, Michael K. & Messner, Steven F., 2005. "Explaining crime for a young adult population: An application of general strain theory," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 463-476.
    5. Mazerolle, Paul & Piquero, Alex, 1998. "Linking exposure to strain with anger: an investigation of deviant adaptations," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 195-211, May.
    6. Mazerolle, Paul & Burton, Velmer S. & Cullen, Francis T. & Evans, T. David & Payne, Gary L., 2000. "Strain, anger, and delinquent adaptations Specifying general strain theory," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 89-101.
    7. Hollist, Dusten R. & Hughes, Lorine A. & Schaible, Lonnie M., 2009. "Adolescent maltreatment, negative emotion, and delinquency: An assessment of general strain theory and family-based strain," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 379-387, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dutra, Lauren M. & Williams, David R. & Gupta, Jhumka & Kawachi, Ichiro & Okechukwu, Cassandra A., 2014. "Human rights violations and smoking status among South African adults enrolled in the South Africa Stress and Health (SASH) study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 103-111.
    2. Barn, Ravinder & Tan, Jo-Pei, 2012. "Foster youth and crime: Employing general strain theory to promote understanding," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 212-220.


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