Interrelated harms: Examining the associations among victimization, accidental injuries, and criminal offending

M. Junger, C. Keane, P.G.M. Van der Heijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Problem. This study investigated the existence of positive
associations between criminal behavior (‘offending’),
traffic accidents, falls and tripping, and being the victim
of a crime. The motivation for the study was that the finding
of positive associations would support the thesis that
there may exist a broad behavioral trait, such as a tendency
to take risks, which links criminal behavior to diverse negative
Method. To investigate these issues, data were used from a
national sample of the Dutch population. The data were analyzed
with the uniform association model. We controlled for
age, gender and various socioeconomic variables.
Results. The results show that there are relatively strong
interrelationships between every one of the four concepts,
with only minor qualifications. The weakest relationship was
found between falling/tripping and being the victim of a personal
or violent crime, with an odds ratio of 1.7. The other
interrelationships produced higher odds ratios.
Conclusions. Although research relating personality characteristics
to accidents has not been common, we conclude that
our findings support the idea that there may be a personality
factor, such as risk-taking or low self-control, underlying
offending behaviors as well as behaviors increasing the likelihood
of accidents and crime victimization. Implications for
prevention and treatment are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-28
Number of pages16
JournalInjury control and safety promotion
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • unintentional injuries
  • criminal behavior
  • aggression
  • victimization
  • intentional injuries
  • accident prevention risk taking
  • personality


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