Date of Award

8-16-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Brian K. Payne

Second Advisor

Leah E. Daigle

Third Advisor

Mary A. Finn

Fourth Advisor

Sheryl Strasser

Abstract

The study of victimization among the elderly crosses multiple disciplines. A large body of research focuses on identifying the nature of and risk factors for elder abuse, while theory has remained relatively underdeveloped in the elder abuse literature. In comparison, the criminological literature is characterized by a plethora of theoretically-driven studies that explore the causes of crime and victimization. Criminology, however, is heavily focused on crimes committed by and against younger individuals. The current study filled a gap in both bodies of work by using the lifestyles/routine activities theoretical (L/RAT) framework, a widely-used criminological perspective, to understand victimization risk among a sample of 1,257 younger and older adults. Using multivariate logistic regression models, it was found that age was a significant predictor of victimization risk. Consistent with findings from the criminological literature, victimization risk generally declines with age. Findings also suggested that the effects of L/RAT variables vary across offense type, as well as across the lifecourse. Implications for theoretical development, policy, and practice are discussed, as well as directions for future research.

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