Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology
Department or Program
Adolescence, Juvenile offenders, Psychosocial maturity, Victimization
Adolescents are at a relatively high risk of victimization. Within criminology, victimization has been largely attributed to risky behaviors and low self-control. Yet, these factors explain only a modest amount of victimization, suggesting that other theoretical predictors may offer additional insight. One factor that may predict victimization, as well as decreasing victimization risk after adolescence, is psychosocial maturation. Using data from the longitudinal Pathways to Desistance study, this study tested the association between psychosocial maturation and victimization. The analytic sample for this study (1087 individuals; 5681 yearly observations) included participants under 18 years at study recruitment. On average, each participant contributed 6 years of data. The victimization measure captured different types of threats and assaults (including rape and gunshot). Results showed 978 (17.2%) observations during which participants reported victimization. On average, psychosocial maturation increased with age while victimization risk decreased. Crude and adjusted models of the between-individual effect showed that a one standard deviation increase in psychosocial maturation was associated with 39% and 20% lower odds of victimization, respectively. Crude and adjusted models of the within-individual effect showed that a one standard deviation increase in psychosocial maturation was associated with 22% and 17% lower odds of victimization, respectively. Psychosocial maturation appears to be a relevant predictor of victimization and aids in our understanding of victimization risk throughout adolescence and early adulthood.
Beckley, A. L., Rocque, M., Tuvblad, C., & Piquero, A. R. (2021). Maturing out of victimization: Extending the theory of psychosocial maturation to victimization. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40865-021-00182-8
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Bates College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Required Publisher's Statement
Original version is available from the publisher at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40865-021-00182-8