Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

John K. Cochran, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christine Sellers, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kim Lersch, Ph.D.


General theory of crime, Lifestyle/exposure, G.R.E.A.T, Victimization, Gangs


This study integrates one of the most empirically tested individual characteristics (self-control) with situational factors (risky lifestyle) in an attempt to explain the risks involved in violent victimization. Data came from a diverse sample of 3,907 middle school students who participated in the G.R.E.A.T. program during the 1993-1994 school year. Gang membership is used as a proxy variable to measure risky lifestyle. It is hypothesized that 1) gang membership will mediate the effect of self-control on violent victimization and 2) self-control and gang membership will interact to amplify the risk of violent victimization.

Logistic regression was used to analyze the prevalence of violent victimization and negative binomial regression was used to analyze frequency of violent victimization. When all other extraneous factors were controlled, insufficient evidence was found to support the hypotheses of this study. A discussion of the findings, as well as theoretical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.