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Contextual Effects in Models of Criminal Victimization

Terance D. Miethe and David McDowall
Social Forces
Vol. 71, No. 3 (Mar., 1993), pp. 741-759
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579893
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579893
Page Count: 19
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Contextual Effects in Models of Criminal Victimization
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Abstract

Contextual analysis is widely endorsed as a research tool to bridge the macro-micro gap in studies of social phenomena. Using a multistage sample of 5,098 Seattle residents, we extend previous work by examining how individuals' risks of criminal victimization are influenced by their personal life-styles and by the characteristics of their neighborhood. Although several types of contextual effects were observed, a major finding is that lower levels of guardianship and higher target attractiveness strongly increased the risks of burglary for residents of more affluent areas, whereas these factors had little net impact on the burglary risks of residents of more socially disorganized areas. There were no major differences in the predictors of violent victimization across different neighborhood contexts. We conclude with a discussion of the results as they relate to future research on theoretical integration and crime control policy.

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