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Numerous studies have documented a relationship between criminal offending and violent victimization. That is, people who commit criminal behavior are also more likely to be victimized. As such, criminological theories traditionally used to explain criminal behavior have now been applied to explain victimization. The current study examines whether Agnew’s general strain theory can explain the offender-victim overlap using a nationally representative sample of males. Results show that vicarious strain is positive and significant in predicting both victimization and perpetration. Anticipated strain was found only to be significant and positive in predicting victimization, but not perpetration. The study’s limitations and future research are discussed.


Published in American Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 38, No. 1 (March 2013), pp. 120-140. © 2012 Southern Criminal Justice Association. Published by Springer Verlag, original published version is available at Used by permission.