skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 202695 Find in a Library
Title: S/He's a Rebel: Toward a Sequential Stress Theory of Delinquency and Gendered Pathways to Disadvantage in Emerging Adulthood
Journal: Social Forces  Volume:82  Issue:1  Dated:September 2003  Pages:53-86
Author(s): John Hagan; Holly Foster
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study proposes and tests a gendered and age-graded sequential stress theory that views delinquency as a transitional event or set of events that can have an additive and intervening role in the movement from earlier feelings of anger through rebellious or aggressive (i.e., delinquent) forms of behavior to later depressive symptoms attended by drinking problems (especially for males).
Abstract: Agnew's strain theory has life-course features in viewing anger resulting in delinquency as an early phase of a stress process and delinquency itself as an additional source of distress as a result of the responses it provokes from others. The subsequent stages of this stress process may take gender-specific forms that involve internalized feelings of depression among females and externalized drinking problems among males. In order to test this theory, the data had to be longitudinal; include male and female adolescents; and incorporate meaningful measures of anger, juvenile delinquency, and later adolescent drinking problems and depression. Ideally, such data would be nationally representative of adolescents and track these youth to emerging adulthood. Data that meet the teenage phase of these requirements are available in the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which tracks youth to the emergence of adulthood. The data analysis was ultimately focused on determining the role of delinquency as an additive and mediating factor in models of the anger, depressive symptoms, and drinking problems of male and female adolescents. The study considered the antecedents of anger and links between anger and other factors, with delinquency as the subsequent mediating variable. The findings are consistent with the integrated theoretical account proposed and parallel previous studies in indicating that anger follows from disadvantaged and stressful family circumstances and is a source of delinquent behavior. The findings further indicate that anger is a source of depression among both adolescent boys and adolescent girls. Anger leads to drinking problems among males, but not among females; for males, involvement in delinquency is a mediating link between anger and drinking. The connecting link delinquency has in the transition from anger to depression and drinking may be especially important for understanding the cumulative and gendered nature of downward trajectories in life, leading, for example, to variation in the kinds of marital and employment outcomes that Sampson and Laub (1993, 1997) have studied. Suggestions are offered for future research. 5 tables, 4 notes, 73 references, and appended items used in full, violent, and nonviolent delinquency scales, as well as descriptive statistics and variables description
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Alcoholism causes; Anger; Behavior under stress; Female juvenile delinquents; Gender issues; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; Longitudinal studies; Male female offender comparisons; Male juvenile delinquents; Psychological influences on crime; Strain theory; Underage Drinking
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.