This study revisits a familiar question regarding the relationship between victimization and offending. Using longitudinal data on middle- and high-school students, the study examines competing arguments regarding the relationship between victimization and offending embedded within the "dynamic causal" and "population heterogeneity" perspectives. The analysis begins with models that estimate the longitudinal relationship between victimization and offending without accounting for the influence of time-stable individual heterogeneity. Next, the victimization-offending relationship is reconsidered after the effects of time-stable sources of heterogeneity, and time-varying covariates are controlled. While the initial results without controls for population heterogeneity are in line with much prior research and indicate a positive link between victimization and offending, results from models that control for time-stable individual differences suggest something new: a negative, reciprocal relationship between victimization and offending. These latter results are most consistent with the notion that the oft-reported victimization-offending link is driven by a combination of dynamic causal and population heterogeneity factors. Implications of these findings for theory and future research focusing on the victimizationoffending nexus are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine