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Reflexive Retaliation for Violent Victimization: The Effect of Social Distance on Weapon Lethality

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Abstract:

During the course of being victimized, why do people sometimes fight back with their fists; in other cases, with a knife or blunt object; and at other times, with a firearm? One theory is that the weapons involved in self-defense, also known as reflexive retaliation, become less lethal as offenders and victims become more intimate and alike culturally. Using National Crime Victimization Survey data, we test hypotheses derived from this theory and primarily find support. This article concludes by discussing implications for future work.

Keywords: NCVS; PURE SOCIOLOGY; RETALIATION; VICTIMIZATION; WEAPON LETHALITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.28.1.69

Publication date: February 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2012 Impact Factor is 0.981.
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