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NCJ Number: 228055 Find in a Library
Title: Victimization as a Cause of Delinquency: The Role of Depression and Gender
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:July/August 2009  Pages:371-378
Author(s): Michelle Eileen Manasse; Natasha Morgan Ganem
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the role of depression and gender as potentially essential mechanisms in the victimization-delinquency relationship.
Abstract: This study confirmed that having been a victim of crime or abuse could be a factor underlying a person’s engagement in criminal behavior. It also demonstrated the usefulness of general strain theory (GST) in explaining this relationship. Agnew’s GST posits that strain, in the form of negative stimuli, the loss of positive stimuli, or the failure to achieve positively valued goals, will increase the likelihood of offending. The findings of the current study show that victimization is a type of strain that positively influences depression and that, for males, depression is a negative emotion that positively predicts involvement in delinquency. The authors advise that future research on emotion and strain should recognize the theoretical distinction between trait and state emotion and acknowledge this distinction in empirical analysis. This study used data from the National Youth Survey (NYS), a multistage probability sample of U.S. households. The first wave of the NYS included 1,725 youth ages 11-17. Data from the fifth and sixth waves of the NYS, which were conducted in 1981 and 1984 and measured behavior that occurred in 1980 and 1983, were used in this study. These were the first waves that asked questions about both depression and victimization. In 1980, the respondents ranged in age from 15 to 21. In 1983, respondents were between the ages of 18 and 24. There were 1,332 complete observations for this analysis out of the original 1,725 NYS respondents. The study analyzed data on delinquency, victimization, and depression. A number of variables known to correlate with delinquent involvement and central to social learning and control theories of crime were used as controls in the analysis. 5 tables, appendix, 2 notes, and 63 references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse as crime factor; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Emotional disorders; Emotionally disturbed delinquents; Gender issues; Psychological victimization effects; Strain theory; Victims of violent crime
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