Perceived danger and offending: Exploring the links between violent victimization and street crime

Tyler J. Frederick*, Bill McCarthy, John Hagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Perceptions of the danger of crime are typically discussed in the context of people's fear that they will be harmed by offenders. We shift the focus and examine the association between perceived danger and offending and the contribution of these perceptions to the well-established relationship between violent victimization and crime. We hypothesize that violence may embolden some victims and contribute to their perception that offending is not dangerous. We examine the mediating effects of these perceptions alongside two other potential links between violent victimization and crime: deviant definitions and risk seeking. Our analyses of data from a sample of homeless youth find that violent victimization is strongly associated with four types of offending-theft, drug use, drug selling, and prostitution-and that perceived danger significantly mediates several of these relationships. Our results suggest that perceived danger may be an important mechanism connecting victimization and crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-35
Number of pages20
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Child abuse
  • Crime
  • Homeless youth
  • Perceived danger
  • Violent victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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