Identifying Psychological Pathways to Polyvictimization: Evidence from a Longitudinal Cohort Study of Twins from the United Kingdom.


Journal Article

Objectives:Examine the extent to which cognitive/psychological characteristics predict later polyvictimization. We employ a twin-based design that allows us to test the social neurocriminology hypothesis that environmental factors influence brain-based characteristics and influence behaviors like victimization. Methods:Using data from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study (N = 1986), we capitalize on the natural experiment embedded in a discordant-twin design that allows for the adjustment of family environments and genetic factors. Results:The findings indicate that self-control, as well as symptoms of conduct disorder and anxiety, are related to polyvictimization even after adjusting for family environments and partially adjusting for genetic influences. After fully adjusting for genetic factors, only self-control was a statistically significant predictor of polyvictimization. Conclusion:The findings suggest polyvictimization is influenced by cognitive/psychological characteristics that individuals carry with them across contexts. Policies aimed at reducing victimization risks should consider interventions that address cognitive functioning and mental health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tanksley, PT; Barnes, JC; Boutwell, BB; Arseneault, L; Caspi, A; Danese, A; Fisher, HL; Moffitt, TE

Published Date

  • September 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 431 - 461

PubMed ID

  • 32831812

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32831812

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1572-8315

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1573-3750

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11292-020-09422-1


  • eng