Integrating Individual Risk and Social Exposure to Violence: A Multilevel Victimization Perspective

Publication Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Document Type


Department or Program


Publication Date



disorganization, integration, schools, self-control, victimization


We test two major hypotheses in this article: (a) macrolevels of school disorganization and individual levels of low self-control will be directly, and positively, linked to victimization and (bi) low self-control will have the largest impact on exposure to victimization (ETV) when it interacts with negative environments consistent with a social enhancement perspective, or (bii) low self-control will have a weaker impact on ETV when it interacts with negative environments consistent with saturation or social push models. The data for the current study were collected as part of the second International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD-II). A total of 49,685 individuals from 30 countries are nested within 1,427 schools. We use multilevel generalized linear regression models with violent victimization (robbery and assault) regressed on demographic, family, school, and neighborhood variables. Multiplicative interaction terms are included in separate models to examine key moderation effects consistent with expectations drawn from the victimization literature. Analyses reveal that low self-control and perceptions of school disorganization are both associated with an increase in the odds of experiencing victimization. Interactions between low self-control and school disorganization are also found to be consistent with saturation/social push models. Our regulation approach offers a foundation for theorizing about ETV and provides a testable model for future research. However, elements of the regulation model are in need of further refinement and testing before the perspective can be moved toward a broader theory of victimization.