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NCJ Number: 185747 Find in a Library
Title: General Strain and Delinquency: An Alternative Examination of Conditioning Influences
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:17  Issue:4  Dated:December 2000  Pages:753-778
Author(s): Paul Mazerolle; Jeffrey Maahs
Editor(s): Finn-Aage Esbensen
Date Published: December 2000
Page Count: 26
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from the National Youth Survey (NYS) and contingency table analyses were used to examine whether the strain-delinquency relationship was conditioned by such factors as exposure to delinquent peers, holding deviant beliefs, or having a behavioral propensity toward delinquency.
Abstract: The NYS identified 2,360 young people between 11 and 17 years of age in the first wave, of whom 1,725 or 73 percent agreed to participate. The 1,655 participants in the second wave represented 96 percent of the original sample. After removing individuals for whom data were missing, the final sample included 1,613 young people. The NYS measured the number of times in the previous year respondents engaged in a wide variety of delinquent acts. The strain-delinquency relationship was measured in terms of such theoretical constructs as negative interactions with adults, school and peer hassles, neighborhood problems, negative life events, and composite strain. Conditioning influences included exposure to delinquent peers, moral beliefs, and behavioral propensity toward delinquency. Results revealed both cross-sectional and longitudinal support for the conditioning hypothesis derived from general strain theory and indicated various factors conditioned the effect of strain on delinquency. Strain and delinquency were related in a systematic and linear pattern. Respondents experiencing more strain reported higher levels of delinquent participation. The authors recommend further research focus on the use of alternative statistical techniques and additional conditioning in studying the conditioning hypothesis of general strain theory. Appendixes contain supplemental information on measures of theoretical constructs and a correlation matrix. 36 references and 4 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency research
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Deviance; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency theory; Juvenile delinquents; Juvenile offenders; Longitudinal studies; Peer influences on behavior; Strain theory; United States of America
Note: Earlier draft of paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology, 1998, Washington, D.C.
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