Risk of Violent Crime Victimization during Major Daily Activities

By Lemieux, Andrew M.; Felson, Marcus | Violence and Victims, September 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Risk of Violent Crime Victimization during Major Daily Activities


Lemieux, Andrew M., Felson, Marcus, Violence and Victims


Exposure to risk of violent crime is best understood after considering where people are, what they do, and for how long they do it. This article calculates Americans' exposure to violent attack per 10 million person-hours spent in different activities. Numerator data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (2003-2008) estimates of violent incidents occurring during nine major everyday activities. Comparable denominator data are derived from the American Time Use Survey. The resulting time-based rates give a very different picture of violent crime victimization risk. Hour-for-hour, the greatest risk occurs during travel between activities. This general result holds for demographic subgroups and each type of violent crime victimization.

Keywords: routine activities; lifestyle theory; risk of violence; epidemiology of violence; opportunity for violence

Crime opportunity theories are extremely important for studying how violent crime victimization distributes across time and space. These theories give special attention to how victims and offenders converge. Both lifestyle theory (Hindelang, Gottfredson, & Garofolo, 1978) and the routine activity approach (Cohen & Felson, 1979) explain this convergence as a function of noncriminal activity patterns. Specifically, the daily movements of individuals and populations through time and space create or diminish opportunities for violent crime to occur. Lifestyle theory focuses mainly on risky personal choices, such as engaging in activities away from home after dark or spending time near youth settings. The routine activity approach gives greater weight to conventional daytime activities, such as work and school, which expose participants to crime opportunities and risks (Roman, 2004). Similar versions of crime opportunity theory were postulated by Dutch and British criminologists around this time indicating the international importance of the link between routine activities and crime (see Mayhew, Clarke, Sturman, & Hough, 1976; van Dijk & Steinmetz, 1980, respectively).

Over time, lifestyle theory and the routine activity approach have been treated as complementary (or even synonymous) because they emphasize the impact of everyday activity patterns. Both theories relate victimization risk to the quantity of time people spend in risky settings. Among others, Eck, Chainey, and Cameron (2005) employed these theories to comprehend how illegal behaviors cluster. Research on "dangerous places" and "hot spots" has repeatedly shown that violent crime concentrates in and around particular places (Block & Block, 1995; Kautt & Roncek, 2007; Roncek & Bell, 1981; Roncek & Faggiani, 1985; Roncek & Lobosco, 1983; Roncek & Maier, 1991; Sherman, 1995; Sherman, Gartin, & Buerger, 1989; Weisburd, 2005). Theoretically, people and populations spending more time in such places should have a higher risk of victimization. Unfortunately, victimization research has been plagued by a limited ability to quantify respondent exposure to risk on a large-scale national basis and instead has been forced to rely on summary measures of risk (Mustaine & Tewksbury, 1998). For example, early research estimated lifestyle exposures from female labor force participation, marital status, age, and sales at eating and drinking establishments (Cohen & Cantor, 1981; Cohen & Felson, 1979; Messner & Blau, 1987).

In this article, we draw from the epidemiology literature to reintroduce an alternative option for measuring and comparing population exposures to risk of violent crime victimization in the United States. This alternative approach adjusts for the time exposed to risk in different major activities. Such adjustment can do more than improve measurement precision; it can reverse findings that neglect how much time is spent in settings where risk of violent crime is relatively high. Yet our purpose for writing this article is not methodological, but rather to improve our understanding of violent victimization by taking into account where people are and what they are doing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Risk of Violent Crime Victimization during Major Daily Activities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.