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Personal networks and crime victimization among Swedish youth

  • Gerald Mollenhorst
  • Christofer Edling
  • Jens Rydgren
Publishing year: 2018-08-21
Language: English
Pages: 116-135
Publication/Series: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
Volume: 19
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Routledge

Abstract english

We combine routine activity theory, lifestyle-victimization theory, and a social network perspective to examine crime victimization. In particular, we study to what extent crime victimization is associated with having close contacts who have been victimized and/or who engage in risky lifestyles. We use the data (collected in 2014) of 1,051 native Swedes and 1,108 Iranian and Yugoslavian first- or second-generation immigrants in Sweden who were all born in 1990. They were asked to describe their personal characteristics, various behaviours, and past personal experiences with crime victimization, as well as those of the five persons with whom they most often spend their leisure time. Our findings support the network perspective: crime victimization is negatively associated with the number of close contacts an individual mentions but is substantially more likely for those who have many close contacts who have themselves been victimized. In terms of a risky lifestyle that may enhance the likelihood of being victimized, we found only that individuals who get drunk frequently were at somewhat higher risk of being victimized. To guard young individuals against crime victimization, it might thus be worthwhile to focus more on with whom they associate than on their potentially risky lifestyles or attitudes.


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Crime victimization
  • lifestyle-victimization theory
  • personal networks
  • routine activity theory
  • Sweden
  • youth


  • ISSN: 1404-3858
Christofer Edling
E-mail: christofer [dot] edling [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se


Faculty of Social Sciences

+46 46 222 88 62



Centre for Economic Demography




+46 46 222 88 62




I earned my PhD from Stockholm University in 1999. Between 2002 and 2005 I was Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University. I received my Docent-title in 2003, and was appointed Associate Professor at Stockholm University in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 I was Head of the Department of Sociology at Stockholm university. Before coming to Lund in 2012 I served as Full Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. I have been a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004/05) and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2013).

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences