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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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