Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 45, Issue 7, pp 1497–1511 | Cite as

Race, Ethnicity, and Adolescent Violent Victimization

  • Marie Skubak Tillyer
  • Rob Tillyer
Empirical Research


The risk of adolescent violent victimization in the United States varies considerably across racial and ethnic populations; it is unknown whether the sources of risk also vary by race and ethnicity. This study examined the correlates of violent victimization for White, Black, and Hispanic youth. Data collected from 11,070 adolescents (51 % female, mean age = 15.04 years) during the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health were used to estimate group-specific multilevel logistic regression models. The results indicate that male, violent offending, peer deviance, gang membership, and low self-control were significantly associated with increased odds of violent victimization for all groups. Some activities—including getting drunk, sneaking out, and unstructured socializing with peers—were risk factors for Black adolescents only; skipping school was a risk factor only for Hispanic adolescents. Although there are many similarities across groups, the findings suggest that minority adolescents are particularly vulnerable to violent victimization when they engage in some activities and minor forms of delinquency.


Adolescent violent victimization Race Ethnicity 



This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by Grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website ( No direct support was received from Grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

Author Contributions

MT conceived of the study, participated in its design, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. RT conceived of the study, participated in its design and interpretation of the data, and helped to draft the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Conflicts of interest


Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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