If you go to bed early you are less at
risk than if you like to visit the bars many nights a week.
Lifestyle exposure theory is a theory
of victimization that acknowledges that not
everyone has the same lifestyle and that some lifestyles expose people to more risks than
do other lifestyles.
Hindelang and associates have
developed a lifestyle theory/exposure theory to explain the correlates of crime against
persons, and Cohen and Felson have extended the theory to property crimes.
Within the victimology literature,
lifestyle exposure theory asserts that violent offending and other forms of antisocial
behavior are indicators of a lifestyle that places individuals at increased risk for
violent victimization (Jensen & Brownfield, 1986).
(From Criminology: A Canadian Perspective, P 242-269, 1987, Rick Linden, ed., D J Koenig
Abstract: According to this perspective, the probability of criminal victimization varies
by time, space, and social setting and by the extent to which routine activities increase target suitability and reduce effective guardianship. The patterns and correlates
of conventional crimes are consistent with this approach. Crimes against property tend to
be committed disproportionately against those whose lifestyle leave their possessions
least effectively guarded. Crimes against persons have some different correlates than do
crimes against property, but most of these differences are consistent with the
lifestyle/exposure theory. For typical crimes, victims (and offenders) are most likely to
be young, male, and engage in evening activities away from home. Thus, their lifestyles
place them in social settings with a higher risk of criminal victimization. Strategies for
crime control consistent with this theory would include those to increase effective
guardianship and reduce the availability of motivated
Importation, deprivation, and
varieties of serving time: An integrated lifestyle-exposure model of prison offending
- Andy Hochstetler, T, Matt DeLisi
Abstract: Using data on 208 male, former inmates in a midwestern state, the current study
extended the importation/deprivation debate by developing an integrated model of prison
offending. The model contained attitudinal measures, self-control, perceptions of prison
conditions, prison lifestyles, objective measures of prison conditions, and controls.
Structural equation modeling indicated that both the importation and deprivation theories
of inmate behavior were salient, however, their effects were mediated by the inmates
lifestyle while imprisoned, specifically, his participation in the inmate economy.
Structural Equation Modeling
Assessment of Key Causal Factors in Computer Crime Victimization - Authors: Choi,
Kyung-Shick, Issue Date: 8-May-2008
Abstract: This dissertation empirically assesses a computer-crime victimization model by
applying Routine activities theory. Routine activities theory is arguably, as presented in
detail in the main body of this study, merely an expansion of Hindelang, Gottfredson, and
Garofalos lifestyle exposure theory. The components of routine activity theory were tested via structural
equation modeling to assess the existence of any statistical significance between
individual online lifestyles, the levels of computer security, and levels of individual
computer-crime victimization. A self-repor studies
survey, which contained multiple measures of computer security, online lifestyles, and
computer-crime victimization, was administered to 204 college students to gather data to
test the model. This study was designed to convey two specific significant contributions
to the empirical literature in criminology. First, this study is the first empirical test
focusing on individual computer-crime victimization via a theoretical approach using
routine activities theory. Second, utilizing structural equation modeling facilitates the
assessment of the new theoretical model by conveying an overall picture of the
relationship among the causal factors in the proposed model. The findings from this study
provide empirical supports for the components of routine activities theory by delineating
patterns of computer-crime victimization. This study is limited in that (a) it does not
delineate individual computer crime victimization based on public computer use; (b) it
needs to provide more precise scales to measure computer security and online users
behaviors for delineating a true crime victimization model; (c) it just considers computer
criminals motivation as a given situation. Future research should include and test
another set of questionnaires that are primarily focused on public computer usage in order
to differentiate the victimization levels on those computers. In addition, future research
must develop more refined survey instruments to estimate computer security and online
lifestyle measures. Furthermore, adding computer criminals motivational factors in
the victimization model would substantially contribute to delineate true computer-crime
victimization. This research is an initial step toward building a solid computer-crime
victimization model. Hence, considering stated the limitations in the future study would
produce a refined computer victimization model based on routine activities theory.
Both Hindelang et als (1978)
lifestyle and Cohen and Felsons (1979) routine activities theories were espoused
during the same period of time that the criminal justice system began to place value on
studying victimization issues (Williams & McShane, 1999, pp. 233-234). Criminologists
in the early 1970s began to realize the importance of victimization studies because they
previously placed their focus on the criminal offender and ignored the crime victim
(Karmen, 2006). Creation of the self-report survey and the emergence of
national victimization studies in 1972 facilitated the development of victimization
theories in this era (Karmen, 2006, p. 51). Lifestyle-exposure theory and routine
activities theory were introduced based on the evidence of the new victimization
statistics as a part of a rational theoretical perspective embedded in sociological
orientation (Williams & McShane, 1999, p. 235). The two theories appear to be ideally
suited for understanding why individuals are predisposed to crime and how an
individuals activities, interactions, and social structure provide opportunities for
Hindelang et al. (1978) suggest that an individuals daily patterned activities, such
as vocational and leisure activities, contribute to victimization. They posit that an
individuals expected social roles and social position influence their personal
lifestyle patterns, and contribute to the individuals decision to engage in certain
activities. More importantly, engaging in risky activities can be made through individual
Cohen and Felson (1979) assume that there are three main components to predict a
likelihood of an occurring victimization event. First, a motivated offender must exist for
the victimization to occur. Second, the presence of a suitable target is necessary for the
occurrence of the victimization. Third, the absence of a capable guardian makes easy
access for offenders to victimize the target. There must be a confluence or convergence of
all three components for the victimization to occur. Thus, absence of one of the three
components is likely to decrease or eliminate the victimization occurrence.
In this study, lifestyle variables from lifestyle exposure theory, which arguably equates
to the level of target suitability in routine activities theory, and the capable
guardianship variable from routine activities theory are taken into account. This project
hypothesizes that an individuals computer-oriented lifestyle in cyberspace
contributes to his or her potential computer-crime victimization. In addition, the study
also hypothesizes that the presence of installed computer security in a computer is a
significant factor that can prevent or minimize the occurrence of computer crime. This
study predicts that variation of these two main factors determines the level of an
individuals computer-crime victimization potential.
ACTIVITIES, AND RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY VICTIMIZATION
by: Matthew B. Robinson, Ph.D. - Journal of Crime and Justice
Appalachian State University, Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
This paper reports findings from an exploratory, place-specific study of the relationship
between victims' lifestyles, routine activities, and residential burglary victimization. A
telephone survey differentiated people with various lifestyles in terms of daily
obligatory and discretionary activities. These differential lifestyles were related to
variations in routine activities (i.e., pedestrian and automotive traffic) on street
segments around residential areas. In a pooled cross-sectional design, street segments
with higher volumes of routine activities between 1992-1996 had significantly lower
burglary rates over this time period, as did street blocks with irregular periods of
routine activities in 1997. Implications are discussed for the lifestyle / exposure and
routine activity theories and for the movement in criminology away from explaining why
individual offenders commit crimes, toward explaining why crimes happen at particular
places at particular times and not others.
The "lifestyle/exposure theory" was developed by Hindelang, Gottfredson, and
Lifestyles are patterned, regular, recurrent, prevalent, or "routine
activities". Lifestyles consist of the activities that people engage in on a daily
basis, including both obligatory and discretionary activities.
Kennedy and Forde (1990:208) summarized the lifestyle/exposure model as "lifestyle,
encompassing differences in age, sex, marital status, family income, and race, influences
daily routines and vulnerability to criminal victimization, resulting in the fact that
"Victimization is not evenly distributed randomly across space and time -- there are
high-risk locations and high-risk time periods" (Garofalo, 1987:26). "Lifestyle
patterns influence (a) the amount of exposure to places and times with varying risks of
victimization, and (b) the prevalence of associations with others who are more or less
likely to commit crimes."
A similar theoretical model developed by Kennedy and Forde (1990: 209, 211) suggested that
background characteristics and daily activities affect time spent in risky lifestyles
which lead to dangerous results (i.e., criminal victimization). In their words,
"demographic and lifestyle variables . . . can be interpreted as contributing to more
or less 'time spent in risky activities' and indirectly contributing to 'dangerous
results'" (Kennedy and Forde, 1990:209).
Numerous studies have shown relationships between daily activities of individuals and
their likelihood of criminal victimization (Riley, 1987:340). In other words, what people
do and how they behave places them at either more or less risk of criminal victimization
(Maxfield, 1987; Miethe, Stafford, and Long, 1987; Sampson and Wooldredge, 1987).
According to Sampson and Wooldredge (1987:372): "An active lifestyle . . . appears to
influence victimization risk by increasing exposure of persons and homes to potential
offenders while guardianship is low." Yet, an active lifestyle may not necessarily
increase one's risk of criminal victimization. For example, if there is a great deal of
activity by residents, neighbors, or passers by around a residence, then this activity may
serve to decrease the likelihood that a property offender will victimize a residence. In
fact, many property offenders are non-confrontational and want to avoid being seen by
residents, neighbors, or passers by (Cromwell, Olson, and Avary, 1991; Tunnell, 1994;
Wright and Decker, 1994).
Whether an active lifestyle leads to higher or lower risks for criminal victimization may
depend on several factors. It might depend on the nature of one's activities -- i.e.,
whether they are patterned and predictable to offenders, or sporadic and less predictable.
This issue has not been settled by academic research, although the majority of lifestyle
research suggests that active lifestyles increase risks for criminal victimization
(Robinson, 1997b). Part of why there is some uncertainty about this issue is because when
relationships between lifestyles and crime are studied, dependent variables typically
consist of some composite measure of crime (see Robinson, 1997b; Thompson and Fisher,
1996). Whether active lifestyles lead to higher or lower risks for crime might depend on
the specific type of crime that is being studied. Since composite measures of crime have
been utilized by researchers rather than distinct measures of individual crime types
(Bennett, 1991; Maxfield, 1987; Thompson and Fisher, 1996), it is nearly impossible to
differentiate the effects of peoples' lifestyles on different types of criminal
victimization. This is problematic, because lifestyle/exposure theory is "crime
specific" (Bennett, 1991:158; Thompson and Fisher, 1996). For example, crimes such as
burglary and theft may create different opportunities for offenders:
For a burglary to occur, an offender has to break and enter a home to get the desired
goods. An offender who commits a larceny, on the other hand, may ride off with a bicycle
left out on the lawn or steal something from the porch of a home. These examples
demonstrate that the opportunity structure for burglary and larceny are different and
therefore the two crimes must be examined separately in research (Thompson and Fisher,
1996:52; also see Gottfredson, 1984; Maxfield, 1987; Sampson and Wooldredge, 1987).
Research examining the relationship between lifestyles and crime should avoid pooling or
aggregating crime types, because examining the effects of lifestyles on composite measures
of crime leads to inconsistent findings (Thompson and Fisher, 1996:53). - Lifestyle
Repeat and multiple
victimizations: the role of individual and contextual factors. Outlaw M, Ruback
B, Britt C.
Department of Sociology, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043, USA.
The present research uses hierarchical modeling to examine the relative contributions of
factors about the person, factors about the context, and, most important the interaction
of factors about the person and factors about the context in models of both repeat
victimization (more than one of the same type of crime) and multiple victimization (two or
more different types of crime). Using telephone survey data from a multistage sample of
Seattle residents, we estimate separate hierarchical models for repeat property, repeat
violent and multiple victimization. Results indicate that repeat victimization of both
types varies substantially by neighborhood, whereas multiple victimization seems more
determined by individual-level factors. Implications for social disorganization theory,
routine activity/lifestyle exposure theory, and future work on repeat victimization are
discussed. - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Lifestyle exposure theory.
Danger on the Streets - Marginality and Victimization Among Homeless People
Barrett A. Lee, Pennsylvania State University
Christopher J. Schreck, Rochester Institute of Technology
Data from a national survey are used to examine the relationship between marginality and
criminal victimization among the homeless. The results show that homeless people are
victimized disproportionately often both in absolute and relative terms (i.e., compared to
members of the domiciled population)and that the modal pattern entails multiple forms of
victimization. Conventional demographic antecedents of victimization receive little
support in the analysis. However, measures representing different dimensions of
marginalitydisaffiliation, health problems, traumatic events, and
lifestyle-exposureall significantly increase the odds of being victimized, as
hypothesized. The failure of the lifestyle-exposure variables to mediate the effects of
the other predictors suggests that distal factors should be considered along with
proximate ones if the vulnerability of disadvantaged groups to crime is to be adequately
understood. Implications of the present research for the victim-offender relationship and
the meaning of victimization are also discussed. -
abs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/48/8/1055 - Lifestyle exposure theory.
Drinking routines/lifestyles and predatory victimization: A causal analysis
James R. Lasley, California State University, Fullerton
Abstract: This study explores the causal role of drinking routines and lifestyles in the
social process of becoming the victim of predatory crime. Data used include demographic
and lifestyle characteristics of approximately 6,300 respondents from the 1982 British
Crime Survey. On the basis of theoretical propositions derived from extant victim theory,
various drinking routine/lifestyle models of predatory victimization were constructed and
were tested empirically. The results suggested that victimogenic demographic attributes
(i.e., being male or young) are mediated by certain combined patterns of alcohol use and
nighttime activities. In particular, findings suggested that drinking routines and
lifestyles characterized as high exposure increase the odds of predatory
victimization. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. -
taylorandfrancis.metapress.com - Lifestyle exposure theory.
Victimization from Terrorist Attacks: Randomness or Routine Activities?
Daphna Canetti-Nisim, Gustavo Mesch, Ami Pedahzur
Abstract: This study tackles the as yet unaddressed question of the various types of
factors related to victims of terrorism. We have explored core assumptions of terrorism
and victimization theories by empirically testing both the randomness and the
lifestyle-exposure theories. Specifically, we looked at how characteristics of victims of
suicide bombings differ from the characteristics of those who have been casualties of
other types of terrorism. Findings obtained via logistic regressions clearly refute the
randomness hypothesis that the risk of victimization from terrorism is similar across all
segments of society. Furthermore, findings indicate that victimization from suicide
vis-à-vis other types of terrorism is related to the basics of lifestyle-exposure
theories. - taylorandfrancis.metapress.com - Lifestyle exposure theory.
Understanding Theories of Criminal Victimization
Robert F. Meier, Terance D. Miethe
Crime and Justice, Vol. 17, 1993 (1993), pp. 459-499
Abstract: Current theories of victimization have generated a sizable body of empirical
research, mostly within the last two decades. The two most widely known perspectives,
lifestyle-exposure and routine activities theories, have been the object of much current
thinking and empirical testing, but their maturation has been hampered by many of the same
problems impeding theories of criminality. These include inadequate attention to variation
by type of crime, compartmentalized thinking, poor links between theory and data,
inadequate measures of key concepts, and failure to specify clearly functional
relationships between sets of variables. Many of these problems can be addressed by closer
examination of the interrelationships among victims, offenders, and criminal situations.
Victimization theories should be incorporated into comprehensive integrated theories of
crime. - jstor.org - Lifestyle exposure theory.
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