General Strain Theory

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This paper will explain the reasoning behind why people abuse children using the criminological theory General Strain Theory. General Strain Theory has four functions to it which are, 1. Strain, 2. Anger, 3. Lack of coping mechanisms and, 5. Criminal behavior. This sequence is vital to the explanation of General Strain Theory and easily explains why people commit crimes. The three key parts to identifying general stain theory are failure to achieve positive goals, removal of positive stimuli, and the presentation of negative stimuli. For instance a 14 year old boy tries out for his school’s basketball team and doesn’t make it, at the same time he loses his grandma who has raised him since birth and is sent to stay with his mother who abuses…show more content…
There are significant differences between these variations of strain theory. Cohens strain theory focus is limited to the lower class and explain why people get involved with group behavior crimes like gangs. According to Criminological theory: The Essentials (2012) “Cohen stated that he believed that this tendency to reject middle class values was the primary cause of gangs.” Cloward and Ohlin’s version of general strain theory says that people are socialized to believe in the American Dream but once they realize that may not achieve it they feel strain. Also, the type of neighborhood an individual lives in can determine the legal and illegal opportunities they can be engaged…show more content…
First, by getting their research information from National agencies like the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The second purpose is to use general strain theory to explain the correlation of child abuse and later offending. Lastly, the authors control for variables from other criminological theories shown to be predictive of crime as a means to assess the relative effects of childhood abuse in shaping criminal outcomes. (Watts & McNulty, 2013) According to the article, “Many previous studies have selected on the dependent variable by drawing convenience samples from prisons, jails, and substance abuse treatment facilities” (Watts & McNulty, 2013) The data in the article is provided by a study of approximately 90,000 students who were supplied by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) in the years 1994 through 1995 while the students where in middle school and high school. The students were involved in a self-survey that they did in school and their parents or guardian also participated in the surveys. Of the 90,000 students, 20,745 of the students participated and 17,700 parents participated. The students and their caregiver participated in providing three cycles of data over the course of about five to six years. During the third cycle of data, which was between the year of 2001

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