Personality and Adolescent School-Based Victimization: Do the Big Five Matter?

Teresa C. Kulig, Francis T. Cullen, Pamela Wilcox, Cecilia Chouhy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-199
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of School Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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