Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date of Defense

12-14-2006

Graduate Advisor

Janet L. Lauritsen, Ph.D.

Committee

Robert Bursik, Ph.D.

Eric Baumer, Ph.D.

Ruth Peterson, Ph.D.

Abstract

This investigation is an exploratory study of the relationship between city-level conditions and risks for non-fatal victimization. Specifically, city characteristics including residential segregation and economic equality between whites and minorities, the proportion of female-headed households, person unemployed and impoverished and the proportion of residents below age eighteen and their relation to non-fatal victimization is studied. Furthermore, individual and neighborhood correlates of non-fatal victimization are examined in addition to city conditions. Also of importance to the current study is examining these risks across racial and ethnic groups and across cities. The primary data is derived from the National Crime Victimization Survey 12 Cities study and is supplemented with city-level data from the United States Census Bureau, the Lewis Mumford Center and the American Communities Project at Brown University.

The bivariate analyses, which entailed the use of Pearson¿s tests of correlation, examined the relationship between city conditions and property victimization and non-fatal violent victimization. The findings reveal that city context is related to rates of non-fatal violent and property victimization among the sampled twelve cities. Furthermore, substantial differences in risks for victimization emerge when the data are disaggregated by race.

The relationship between city conditions and non-fatal victimization are further explored using logistic regression models that also included controls for individual and neighborhood characteristics. Individual and neighborhood conditions have long been associated with risks for non-fatal forms of victimization; therefore, it is important to consider these factors in addition to city conditions. The findings indicate that city context is indeed associated with non-fatal victimization among cities even when individual and neighborhood factors are considered. However, there appear to be no substantive differences in the relationship between individual and neighborhood factors and non-fatal victimization across cities. Individual and neighborhood risks for non-fatal victimization are similar regardless of the city being studied despite the differences in city size, racial/ethnic composition or level of disadvantage. However, there are substantive differences in risks for non-fatal victimization across racial/ethnic groups.

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