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General Strain Theory and Delinquency: Focusing on the Influences of Key Strain Characteristics on Delinquency

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Volume: 54 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2008 Pages: 582-613
Byongook Moon; David Blurton; John D. McCluskey
Date Published
October 2008
32 pages
The study examined the effects of recent, older, and chronic strains and of perceived injustice of strain on delinquency, sampling 777 Korean youth.
Seven key strains most likely leading to delinquency, some of which were often overlooked in previous research, were included, and these are family conflict, parental punishment, teachers' punishment, financial strain, examination-related strain, being bullied, and criminal victimization. Overall, the findings provide some support for general strain theory's prediction that some recent strains and perceived injustice have significant effects on delinquency. The results show that recent and older teachers' physical and emotional punishment and victimization are positively related to general delinquency. However, chronic parental punishment and chronic bullying are negatively related to general delinquency, inconsistent with Agnew's prediction. The findings also indicate the critical importance of including types of strain that are unique to certain cultures into tests of the theory. (Publisher Abstract)