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Linking the Micro- and Macro-Level Dimensions of Lifestyle-Routine Activity and Opportunity Models of Predatory Victimization

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 3 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1987) Pages: 371-393
R J Sampson; J D Woolredge
Date Published
23 pages
This study used the British Crime Survey, a nationally representative sample of 10,905 residents of England and Wales, to examine differences in victimization risk associated with demographic characteristics, lifestyle-routine activities, and community context.
The study identified two problems underlying past research: a relative paucity of efforts to bridge the link between micro (individual) and macro (community) levels of victimization risk and an inadequate conceptualization and measurement of community-level routine activities and criminal opportunity structures. This study addressed both of these general limitations through a multivariate, contextual analysis of the determinants of personal theft and household victimization. Generally, victimization risk was highest for the young, singles, and those who often went out at night or left their homes empty. Independent of these individual-level effects, however, burglary victimization was directly related to community levels of primary (single)-individual households, family disruption, unemployment, and housing density, and personal theft was inversely related to community social cohesion (friendship networks, residential stability). Also, personal theft was positively related to community 'street activity' (i.e., rate at which residents went out at night on foot), regardless of individual-level lifestyle. The results thus support a multilevel opportunity model of predatory victimization. 6 tables and 34 references. (Author abstract modified)


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