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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2021

29-09-2020 | Empirical Research

Sex-Based Differences in Criminal Victimization of Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis

Auteurs: Natasha Pusch, Kristy Holtfreter

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 1/2021

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Abstract

While general criminological theories, including low self-control, social bonds, routine activities, and risky lifestyles are increasingly used to explain criminal victimization, there is some evidence these theories may omit important sex differences. To date, the empirical evidence remains mixed, which may be an artifact of methodological differences. This study used three-level meta-analytic methods to assess the use of various predictors derived from criminological theory on a variety of criminal victimization types, sample characteristics, and differences in research design. In a total sample of 166,650 females and 129,988 males in 115 studies using 95 unique datasets of adolescents (average age = 10–19), the meta-analysis revealed that elements of risky lifestyles are largely sex-neutral, while some sex-specific effects of bonds, routine activities, and prior victimization are observed. Implications for criminological theory, developmental and life course research on adolescent victimization, and avenues for prevention are discussed.
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Voetnoten
1
Studies included age ranges of 10 to 24. Because young adults may have different risk factors for victimization than children, a supplementary analysis of studies that only included ages ranging from 10 to 19 will also be estimated.
 
2
Studies that examined various forms of online victimization among adolescent samples were also excluded, for two related reasons: (1) Recent meta-analyses on cyberbullying perpetration and victimization have been conducted (Chen, Ho et al. 2017; Guo, 2016; Kowalski et al., 2014); and (2) Very few of the published studies on online victimization performed sex-specific analyses, which is the main focus in the current meta-analysis.
 
3
The 20 researchers were selected based on the advice of others skilled in meta-analysis and/or victimization (Pratt 2010). Specifically, Google Scholar was used to identify authors who published on criminological theory and adolescent victimization within the past 5 years. While this approach is arguably imperfect, it is important to note that more exhaustive methods of identifying unpublished papers (e.g., posting on subject area list serves with more than 100 subscribers; see Pusch and Holtfreter 2020) rarely yield large numbers of unpublished papers.
 
4
While authors are sometimes contacted to provide missing information from studies, this was not done here for two reasons. First, since some authors are more likely to provide missing information than others (i.e., more recent studies), this may introduce bias. Second, since a goal of meta-analyses is to be replicable by other researchers, including information that is not publicly accessible would not allow researchers to replicate this meta-analysis (Pratt 2010).
 
5
Approximately 20 studies that did not fall within the WHO definition for age (i.e., all included a higher bound above age 19) were identified as outliers. The analyses were re-estimated with these studies removed, and some differences were revealed. In the bivariate effects, prior sexual victimization is no longer significant for girls.
In the multivariate effects, sexual risk taking is no longer significant for girls. In the multivariate effects for boys, drug use is no longer significant, and prior sexual victimization is significant (z = 0.143).
 
6
Due to space constraints, trim-and-fill funnel plot graphs are not presented here. However, they are available from the authors upon request.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Sex-Based Differences in Criminal Victimization of Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis
Auteurs
Natasha Pusch
Kristy Holtfreter
Publicatiedatum
29-09-2020
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Youth and Adolescence / Uitgave 1/2021
Print ISSN: 0047-2891
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6601
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01321-y