Date of Award

Spring 2020

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

David Finkelhor

Second Advisor

Heather Turner

Third Advisor

Cesar Rebellon


The correlation between peer victimization and delinquency has long been established in the sociological and criminological literatures. However, the research to this point has focused on one or the other as an outcome. This study addresses this gap in the literature by teasing out a causal relationship between them. By using 3 waves of the Developmental Victimization Survey, peer victimization and delinquency are treated as both predictors and outcomes for each other. In doing so, this study finds evidence to support a causal relationship between experiencing peer victimization at wave 1 and later delinquent behavior at wave 3. It also finds evidence of partial mediation through wave 2 depression. This study does not find evidence of a direct relationship between delinquency at wave 1 and later peer victimization at wave 3 after controlling for wave 3 anger. While adding new insight into the relationship between peer victimization and delinquency, this study provides a jumping off point for further analysis of these multifaceted relationships.