Victims of violence: Male and female heroin users

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Roger Dunham - Committee Chair


This dissertation estimates the prevalence of violent victimization among street-recruited male and female heroin users, and examines the association of a set of personal and social factors with violent victimization. Two theoretical perspectives, routine activities and street addict role, are integrated to develop a single conceptual framework to examine victimization among this population. Integrating these theories provides the context to understand how the heroin street subculture and lifestyle of male and female users influence their risk levels for violent victimization by focusing on four domains: sociodemographic, drug use history, lifestyle, and personal networks.This dissertation builds upon and extends the few studies that have examined violent victimization among chronic drug users. No study, to date, has looked at the factors associated with the different types of violent victimization among heroin users, incorporating the gender risk factors across different types of violent victimization. Findings indicate that the prevalence of violent victimization in a 30 day period is high for the street-recruited heroin users. While the prevalence of some types of violent victimization may be similar between the genders, other victimization types (e.g. injured) are more prevalent among the females. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that by examining the different types of violent victimization, the domains and factors that are significantly associated vary between the various victimization measures. Performing gender specific analysis also suggests that violent victimization factors and domains significantly vary among the different victimization measures for male and female heroin users as well as between the genders.


Health Sciences, Public Health; Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text