Criminal Victimization, Social Capital and Mental Health: The Impact of Gender
Method: In a representative study 3000 inhabitants of a major urban region in Germany were asked about their experience of criminal victimization, their perception of social capital and their subjective mental health status.
Results: Study results revealed strong negative effects of criminal victimization on mental health. As indicated by significant interaction effects the perception of social capital was found to reduce the negative effects of criminal victimization in both sexes. While the negative effects of criminal victimization on symptoms of depression and anxiety were stronger in females than in their male counterparts, the moderating effects of perceived social capital was also stronger in women than in men.
Discussion: Negative effects of criminal victimization on mental health are stronger in women than in men. However, women seem to benefit more from the perception of good social relationships with regard to cope with the negative mental health effects of victimization.