Understanding the relationship between violent victimization and gang membership

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Research examining factors that precipitate gang violence has contributed substantially to our understanding of gangs and gang activity with respect to offending, yet we still know relatively little about how gangs influence members' risk of victimization. The current study examines three hypotheses: (1) gang involvement and involvement in other risky lifestyles is related to violent victimization, (2) involvement in gang crime is associated with violent victimization, and (3) the presence of rival gangs is related to violent victimization. Methods: The present study uses data obtained from 909 recently booked juvenile arrestees who were interviewed as part of the Arizona Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program. Results: Our findings indicated that prevalence of violent victimization was highest among gang members, followed by former gang members, gang associates, and non-gang members. After controlling for involvement in gang crime, however, gang membership per se did not significantly influence the juveniles' risk of serious violent victimization. Conclusions: Our results call into question the conclusion that gang membership alone increases the likelihood of violent victimization vis-à-vis lifestyle/routine activities and/or collective liability. Instead our findings support prior research on the victim-offender overlap, that offending behaviors increase the risk of victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-59
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Fingerprint

Crime Victims
victimization
Crime
Life Style
offense
Drug Monitoring
drug abuse
Risk-Taking
Research
Violence
liability
Substance-Related Disorders
offender
violence
monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Understanding the relationship between violent victimization and gang membership. / Katz, Charles; Webb, Vincent; Talbot, Kathleen; Shaffer, Jennifer N.

In: Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 39, No. 1, 01.2011, p. 48-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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