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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Victimization and offending are problems linked to youth. This article is about the victim offender overlap, which is a phenomenon where a person's offending activity and victimization experiences are positively correlated. It highlights the victim-offender overlap, which is a well-documented empirical fact. Although persistent, there are few criminological theories about the victim-offender correlation and this article focuses on insights offered by some of the leading criminological theories, particularly cultural deviance, strain, control, and life-course perspectives. It interprets victim-offender overlap from this vantage point and examines the implications of a life-course approach to the study of the victim-offender overlap. In sum, it provides a review that indicates that the victim-offender nexus is not well understood, notwithstanding the vast literature connecting childhood victimization and mistreatment to offending. Finally, it poses a few questions that are vital to understanding victim-offender correlation, but are unanswered so far.

Keywords: victim-offender overlap, victimization, offending activity, criminological theories, life-course approach

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