The violent victimization of children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly: situational characteristics and outcomes
The current thesis is an exploratory study on the nature and outcomes of the violent victimization of children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Using data from NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting System) differences between four age groups will be assessed in terms of both the likelihood of victim injury and clearance by arrest, as well as the situational characteristics that predict these outcomes. Both descriptive statistics, bivariate, and multivariate models will be computed to delineate these relationships. Results from logistic regression analyses indicate that while children do represent a vulnerable and dependent group, the nature and outcomes of crimes involving younger victims do not vary as greatly as anticipated from those involving older victims. It appears that variables predicting a greater risk of victim injury, such as crimes involving weapons or those occurring at night, were less influential for child victims. However, age-specific predictions for variables associated with higher arrest rates were refuted, providing little support for the victim devaluing perspective. The present study represents a first step in assessing how victimization experiences vary by age. Future research should consider examining victim injury or arrest for different age groups than those in this study to determine how these outcomes vary across differing age thresholds. Further, researchers might also use alternative data sets which include measures of police resource use, victim resistance, and offender motive to understand how these factors influence the likelihood of victim injury or arrest, as well as the situational and incident characteristics associated with these outcomes.