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General Strain, Street Youth and Crime: A Test of Agnew's Revised Theory

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 42 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2004 Pages: 457-483
Stephen W. Baron
Date Published
May 2004
27 pages
This study examined the general strain of street youth crime, specifically using a test of Agnew’s revised theory.
This study was conducted using a sample of homeless street youth and examined how specific forms of strain, such as emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and homelessness and being a victim of robbery, violence, or theft, relative deprivation, monetary dissatisfaction, and unemployment lead to crime and drug use. The data were collected between May 2000 and August 2001 in Vancouver, a large western Canadian city with a population of approximately 2 million. The study was centered in and around the business core of the city, bordered by the inner city and local skid row. The area contained a mix of financial and commercial establishments surrounded by bars, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, sex shops, hotels and rooming houses, rundown residential units, shelters, detox centers, and abandoned buildings. The study explored how strain was conditioned by deviant peers, deviant attitudes, external attributes, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. The results of the study show that future work should continue to explore the role of alternative forms of strain and its conditioning variable on crime and delinquency utilizing a broader age range of a sample drawn from both street and conventional populations. It is through broader examination of populations’ types of strain that the intricacies of strain theory will be uncovered. Tables, references