Reexamining the correlates of adolescent violent victimization: the importance of exposure, guardianship, and target characteristics.J Interpers Violence. 2011 Sep; 26(14):2908-28.JI
The present study examines the relative contributions of various theoretical constructs to violent victimization by operationalizing multiple measures of exposure to motivated offenders, guardianship, and target characteristics. Using a nationally representative sample of American adolescents, we conducted principal components factor analysis and logistic regression analysis to examine whether such measures do in fact represent empirically distinct constructs and if they are each correlated with violent victimization risk. Findings suggest that both nondelinquent and delinquent routine activities which expose adolescents to motivated offenders increase risk of victimization. In terms of guardianship, parental attachment appears to protect adolescents from victimization, although direct parental control actually increases risk. Finally, only one of four target characteristics-psychological vulnerability-was significantly associated with violent victimization risk. We discuss the implications for theory and future research in light of the findings.