Heterogeneous effects of violent victimization on young adult outcomes for black and white youth


Turanovic, Jillian (2020). Heterogeneous effects of violent victimization on young adult outcomes for black and white youth.


Purpose: Violent victimization—particularly when it happens during adolescence—can inflict a wide array of negative consequences across the life course. Yet not all victims of crime are equally likely to suffer these consequences, and we do not have a very good understanding of why that is. Recent research had demonstrated that the effects of adolescent violent victimization tend to be most pronounced among youth with the lowest risks of being victimized. Questions remain, however, about the extent to which these patterns vary between White and Black youth. Methods: By using propensity score matching and data from Waves 1-3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the current study examines the heterogeneous effects of adolescent violent victimization on problematic outcomes in early adulthood (offending, subsequent victimization, depressive symptoms, hard drug use, and educational attainment). Youths’ differential risks of violent victimization are accounted for using a host of personal, social, and contextual factors, including prior experiences with crime and violence. Models assessing heterogeneous treatment effects are estimated separately for White and Black youth. Results: The results show (1) that the consequences of adolescent violent victimization in early adulthood are most pronounced for White youth with low risks of victimization, and (2) that the negative impacts of violent victimization are more subdued, and less heterogeneous, among Black youth. Conclusions: Victimization appears to be an acute life stressor in the lives of low-risk, White youth—one that seems to place such youth on a negative life pathway that they were unlikely to have experienced prior to being violently victimized. Among Black youth, however, violent victimization in adolescence has little impact on negative outcomes, regardless of youths’ risks of experiencing victimization. It therefore seems that violent victimization is only one of many stressors that Black youth have to contend with, and one that might not be as acute other stressors in the broader context of their lives. Implications for treatment and practice will be discussed.


Violence and Injury Prevention

Reference Type

Conference paper

Book Title

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


Turanovic, Jillian

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