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Household Composition, Routine Activity, and Victimization: A Comparative Analysis

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 3 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1987) Pages: 301-320
M G Maxfield
Date Published
20 pages
Data from the 1982 British Crime Survey and from the 1983 Victim Risk Supplement to the U.S. National Crime Survey are used to determine whether the higher victimization risk of single parents is due to particular patterns of routine activities in such households.
Personal and household victimization rates by household composition (one adult, two adults, one adult and kids, two adults and kids) show that single-parent households are at greater risk for both types of offenses, according to both surveys. Data analysis examined the relative impact of two lifestyle measures and household composition on personal and household victimization and selected characteristics of personal incidents. Although indicators of employment status and leisure pursuits did account for differences in victimization, some variation by household composition remained. The single parents were disproportionately victimized by present or former spouses. Often unemployed, they were at greatest risk in the home domain. Deleting close prior relationship incidents eliminated the effects of household composition on personal victimization and produced logit models that were similar for both surveys. 5 tables and 25 references. (Author abstract modified)