The Role of Early Pubertal Development in the Relationship Between General Strain and Juvenile Crime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Agnew's general strain (1992) theory postulates that negative relationships and negative life events can give rise to delinquency by way of negative emotions, such as anger. However, the factors that might condition the effects of general strain on juvenile delinquency remain unclear. As a result, Agnewet al.(2002) have advocated continued efforts to identify factors that moderate one's response to strainful experiences. Using data from a national sample of adolescents, the present study responds to their request by examining how the effects of general strain on offending vary according to youths' level of physical development. The findings suggest that advanced pubertal development may significantly increase the effects of general strain on delinquent outcomes and that these effects may differ by gender. The implications of this conclusion for criminological theory, future research, and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-310
Number of pages19
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • early puberty
  • general strain
  • juvenile delinquency
  • moderated effects
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law

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