Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Fall 10-12-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Joshua Hinkle

Second Advisor

William Sabol

Third Advisor

Leah Daigle

Fourth Advisor

Anthony Peguero


Much of the literature on immigrant victimization suggests that foreign nationals are less likely to be victimized than US-born citizens, a phenomenon labeled the “immigrant paradox.” However, McDonald (2018) identifies two primary issues with the current body of immigrant victimization literature: lack of data and overaggregating “immigration status.” Since foreign-born individuals are not homogenous, vulnerability risk and victimization experiences may vary across statuses and nationalities. The purpose of this study is to delineate the relative likelihood of experiencing violent victimization in the US among foreign nationals based on their status and nationality. Using the “immigrant paradox” as a guiding framework, foreign nationals’ odds of experiencing violent victimization in the US are analyzed relative to US-born citizens and naturalized citizens. This dissertation used the restricted version of the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLAAS), a nationally representative, complex dataset that oversampled foreign-born individuals based on target nationalities using a stratified area sampling design and weighting.

The present study utilizes a novel approach to categorizing “residency status” based on legal criteria to expand our understanding of violent victimization of foreign nationals. Additionally, panethnic/panracial categories are disaggregated into six nationalities and two “other” ethnic groups to delineate the impact of nationality on the odds of experiencing violent victimization in the US. Consistent with conventions for reporting complex survey data, weighted descriptive statistics, bivariate statistics, and a series of multivariate logistic regression models were estimated using STATA 17. All final models controlled for demographics, acculturation variables, risk factors/ lifestyle measures, mental health, and region. In Chapter IV, a series of models using a measure of any violent victimization found that, when a dichotomized measure of “US-born/ foreign-born” status is used, the differences in the odds of experiencing any violent victimization in the US are masked. To ensure differences found in Chapter IV were not a function of pre-migratory victimization, Chapter V used four sets of models to estimate the odds of experiencing violent victimization only in the US by panethnic group, within the Latino/ Asian nationalities and across all nationalities. Within each set, one model included US-born citizens and one that excluded them. These analyses found that using a dichotomized panethnic label masked the differences across nationalities. Additionally, subanalyses within each panethnic label found that differences across nationalities were present when US-born citizens were included in the analyses, but not when limited to foreign nationals.