Victimization of the Elderly Homeless

Dietz, Tracy; Wright, James D.
March 2005
Care Management Journals;Spring2005, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p15
Academic Journal
Using data from the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC), this article examines the applicability of Felson's Routine Activities Theory to a national probability sample of older homeless individuals. Results indicate that the relative protection that women often have from most crimes is not transferred to the older homeless woman who is more likely than her male counterparts to be the victim of sexual assault but equally as likely to be the victim of theft and physical assault. Likewise, the protection often noted afforded by age against victimization is also not seen among the homeless. The research demonstrates that being male and having mental and physical health problems as well as substance abuse problems increases the likelihood of victimizations among the homeless population, in general. When predictors of victimization were considered for the 50 and older sample, these predictors remained the same except that the gender remained significant only for sexual assault. These findings are consistent with and supportive of utilizing Felson's Routine Activities Theory to understand and explain victimization among the older homeless population.


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