Identifying the psychological mechanisms that mediate the relationship between criminal victimization and anti-social behavior and substance use
Watts, Stephen Jesse
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Path modeling and data from a survey of African Americans is used to test hypotheses derived from three criminological theories: General Strain Theory, Self-Control Theory, and Biased Attribution/Attachment Theory. I focus on the psychological mechanisms that mediate the association between criminal victimization and anti-social behavior and substance use. The findings show some support for the theories tested. The effect of violent victimization on anti-social behavior and marijuana use was indirect through depression and low self-control, and the effect of childhood sexual victimization on affiliations with deviant peers was indirect through depression and low self-control. Theoretical implications and limitations of the study are discussed.