Self-control has provided a useful framework for understanding both offending behavior and victimization risk. As a theory of victimization, research has established that low self-control is directly related to victimization risk beyond a range of other factors. This finding raises the issue of whether other personality traits are associated with an increased risk of victimization. Using a sample of ninth-grade adolescents (N = 2,912) from the Rural Substance Abuse and Violence Project, we tested whether the Big Five Inventory of personality traits predicted adolescent school-based victimization above and beyond low self-control and rival explanations of victimization. The results indicate that, after controlling for risky behaviors, school attachment, and low self-control, neuroticism is positively related to victimization. This finding suggests that examining traits other than low self-control is important to capture fully what makes someone vulnerable to crime. Further, we consider the theoretical and policy implications of the findings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality