Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Criminal Justice 38:4 (July–August 2010), pp. 496–505; doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.04.019


Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


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.

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