Previous studies found support for the victim-offender overlap, but far less is known about why the relationship exists. To address this gap, the current study uses social network analysis (SNA) to measure risky lifestyles, which has implications for future victimization. SNA can provide nuanced insights into how risky lifestyles may lead to serious victimization. Such nuance includes more precise measures of delinquent peer associations, including peer (social), conflict, and co-offending relationships. Using data from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study (ISVYOS), the current study operationalized risky lifestyles using network measures and examined whether these network characteristics can predict serious victimization. Findings from bivariate comparisons show that differences in network characteristics exist across victims and non-victims. Multivariate analyses suggest that offenders’ embeddedness in dense criminogenic networks prospectively predict serious victimization. Further, offenders’ changes in network characteristics showed partial support towards the aggregate age-crime curve. Recommendations for policy and practice are discussed with reference to these findings.
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Thesis advisor: McCuish, Evan
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