A longitudinal assessment of the victim-offender overlap

Wesley G. Jennings, George E. Higgins, Richard Tewksbury, Angela R. Gover, Alex R. Piquero

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141 Citations (Scopus)


Although research has established an offending/victimization overlap and that offenders and victims share similar characteristics, much less work has examined the longitudinal sequencing of victimization and offending in the same developmental period and whether key risk/protective factors significantly distinguish both offenders and victims.This study uses longitudinal data from a large sample of adolescents to examine these issues and does so using a novel methodological approach, the trajectory methodology, which allows for the examination of covariation between offending and victimization. Results indicate that there is a considerable degree of overlap between victims of physical violence and offenders over time and that certain covariates including school commitment, parental monitoring, low self-control, and sex significantly discriminate victim and offender groups. Furthermore, low self-control appears to be the most salient risk factor for distinguishing both victimization and delinquency trajectories.Theoretical and policy implications and directions for future research are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2174
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • offending
  • trajectories
  • victim-offender overlap
  • victimization

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