A Case-Control Study of the Impact of Recent Victimization on Premature Mortality

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 302 (Hynes Convention Center)
William Alex Pridemore,State University of New York, Albany, NY
Repeat victimization is when someone who has already been the victim of a crime in the past is again criminally victimized. We examined the risk of male premature mortality, especially from homicide, associated with recent criminal victimization. Prior victimization is among the most consistent predictors of future victimization risk but the explanation of repeat victimization remains elusive. Two general perspectives frame this debate. State dependence argues repeat victimization is forged through intervening processes connecting an initial with a subsequent violent victimization. That is, the first victimization somehow partially caused later victimization. Risk heterogeneity, on the other hand, contends all victimization events (initial and subsequent) for a person result from underlying individual traits that consistently place the person at higher risk. Moreover, research on health outcomes and premature mortality provides related, but often overlooked, conceptual assumptions about the co-occurring health burden of preventable injuries and disease. We extend and apply each of these perspectives in the current study to assess the nature and sources of repeat violent victimization, especially as it relates to homicide. Results provided evidence for the state dependence explanation. We found that after controlling for indicators of risk heterogeneity men who had been victims of violence (but not property or residential crime) within the past year were more than three times more likely than those who had not to become a homicide victim.