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Comparative Analysis of General Strain Theory

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 40 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2012 Pages: 117-127
Inga Dora Sigfusdottir; Alfgeir Logi Kristjansson; Robert Agnew
Date Published
April 2012
11 pages
This study examined the relationship between five specific strains of general strain theory and violent and property crime rates across five cities in Europe.
The study found that of the five strains examined, four of them - physical victimization, school strain, family conflict, and peer rejection - were significantly associated with violent and property delinquencies across the five cities in the study. The fifth strain examined in the study, economic deprivation, was unrelated to or had a weak relationship with violent and property crime. This weak relationship was attributed to the low level of income inequality in the five cities in the study. The cities in the study were Bucharest, Romania; Sofia, Bulgaria; Riga, Latvia; Kaunas, Lithuania; and Reykjavik, Iceland. Data for the study were obtained from the 2008 Youth in Europe Survey, a cross-sectional survey of representative samples of adolescents, aged 14-15 years old, in 11 cities across Europe. The study measured the effect of five specific strain measures - physical victimization, economic deprivation, school strain, family conflict, and peer rejection - on two types of crime: violent crime and property crime. The study's findings support the use of general strain theory in exploring violent and property crime rates in adolescents. Implications for future research are discussed. Tables, notes, and references