Race, Gender, Economics, and Victimization

While criminological research often examines national-level crime and victimization trends, little is known about long-term trends in offending and victimization by race and ethnicity. This study uses National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data from 1973 to 2005 to estimate trends in serious nonfatal violent victimization for Latino, non-Latino Black, and non-Latino white males in the United States. Professor Karen Heimer research results indicate that the effects of race and ethnicity on violent victimization risk vary over time, and in ways that suggest the importance of greater economic conditions. Victimization rates for Latino and non-Latino Black males peaked during or soon after economic recessions, while non-Latino white male rates displayed fewer increases during periods of economic downturn. Subsequent analyses reveal that racial and ethnic disparities are substantially reduced when researchers account for differences in household poverty status, age, and central-city residency. These findings raise concerns about the potential impact of current economic conditions on the violent victimization rates of minority males, for whom poverty rates are disproportionately higher and who may be more vulnerable to the effects of economic recession.