Sunday, April 01, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, April 1, 2007


NCJ 217457
Jenny Cann ; Caroline Friendship ; Lynsey Gozna
Assessing Crossover in a Sample of Sexual Offenders with Multiple Victims
Legal and Criminological Psychology Volume:12 Issue:1 Dated:February 2007 Pages:149 to 163

This study examined the proportion of sex offenders in England and Wales who targeted a variety of victims ("crossover"), as measured by victim age, gender, and relationship to the offender; offender criminal and demographic variables predictive of "crossover" were identified. Of the total sample of 1,345 adult male sex offenders, 24.5 percent (n=330) exhibited crossover behavior for at least 1 of the victim characteristics examined. Eight percent (n=108) had offended against both children and adults. Nine percent (n=121) had offended against both males and females; and 14 percent (n=189) had offended against victims both within and outside their own family. These findings indicate that many sex offenders present a risk to a much wider range of potential victims than may be apparent from their current sex offense. Overall, age at first court appearance for a sex offense and age at discharge were significantly predictive of crossover. The older an offender at first court appearance, the less likely he was to have crossed over. All of the sample of 1,345 adult male sex offenders had offended against multiple victims and had been discharged from custody in England and Wales between 1992 and 1996. Offense summaries in police records were used to collect victim details for each conviction for a sex offense for each offender. Criminal conviction histories were obtained from the Offenders Index. 3 tables, 1 figure, and 41 references

NCJ 217539
Barbara D. Warner
Robberies with Guns: Neighborhood Factors and the Nature of Crime
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume:35 Issue:1 Dated:January/February 2007 Pages:39 to 50

Results from this study suggest that faith in the police was a more important neighborhood factor affecting the nature of robbery than disadvantage, the percent of young African-American males, or oppositional values. While there is a substantial body of research examining the use of guns in robbery, the vast majority of the research has been focused at the individual level. A broader research question on the aggregate level would be “Do neighborhood characteristics affect the nature or quality of crimes that occur there?” This study expands the developing literature on neighborhood variation in the quality, or nature, of crime by examining several neighborhood factors theorized to be associated with qualitatively different forms of violence, in relation to the use of guns in robberies across neighborhoods in a southern city. The study examined noncommercial robberies in an urban city with a population of approximately a quarter million. Tables, references

NCJ 217540
Kristin Y. Mack ; Michael J. Leiber ; Richard A. Featherstone ; Maria A. Monserud
Reassessing the Family-Delinquency Association: Do Family Type, Family Processes, and Economic Factors Make a Difference?
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume:35 Issue:1 Dated:January/February 2007 Pages:51 to 67

This study examined the relationship between family structure and juvenile delinquency. The overall results lend additional support for the effects of family process, such as maternal attachment and to some degree, maternal supervision as more significant predictors of delinquent behavior among youth than family structure or family type. Maternal attachment was consistently found to be a more important predictor of delinquency than family structure, reason why a family was a single-parent household, or lack of economic resources. Even though these findings were somewhat unexpected, it should not be surprising that the quality of the parent-child bond might play an important role in the development of delinquent behavior. Despite the number of studies, several issues regarding the relationship between family structure and delinquent behavior remain unresolved. This study sought to address this literary weakness by using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine in greater detail the extent to which family type, family process variables, and economic factors impacted participation in nonserious and serious delinquency. Specifically, the study considered whether differences existed in the relationship between family types, such as intact, divorce, death, or never married and delinquency, and if this association was mediated by family process, such as attachment, supervision, and control and/or economic variables, such as membership in the underclass and maternal employment status. Tables, appendix, notes, and references

NCJ 217469
Nancy Berns ; David Schweingruber
"When You're Involved, It's Just Different" Making Sense of Domestic Violence
Violence Against Women: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal Volume:13 Issue:3 Dated:March 2007 Pages:240 to 261

This study used in-depth interviews to explore how people made sense of domestic violence. The results suggest that victims of domestic violence or those with direct experience of abuse have a more difficult time making sense of domestic violence than those who have no firsthand or secondhand experience with the problem. Victims of domestic violence drew mainly on their own lived experiences to understand the problem and tended to engage in interpretative work in order to harmonize their conception of their selves with the abuse they suffered. Nonvictims, on the other hand, relied on a limited range of relationships and sources in order to understand the problem of domestic violence. Nonvictims drew their understanding of domestic violence from less complex media presentations of the problem which tend to simplify domestic violence issues into easily understandable categories. As a result, victims offered more ambiguous and complex narratives of domestic violence while nonvictims offered less nuanced and more straightforward narratives of the problem. Results were based on in-depth interviews with 20 nonacademic staff (11 women and 9 men) at a midwestern university who were recruited using random sampling. Interviews focused on participants’ understanding of domestic violence, how they received their knowledge of domestic violence, their opinions of victims and abusers, and solutions to domestic violence. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed for emerging themes. Future research on how people make sense of social problems is encouraged. Notes, references

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