Nonlinear Strain Effects on Delinquent Behavior and Depressive Symptoms
nonlinear strain, delinquent behavior, young adult crime, depressive symptoms
Few studies have examined the potential nonlinear effects of strain on offending and other outcomes, even though the initial development of general strain theory (GST) recognized their feasibility. This study was designed to investigate these nonlinear effects on delinquent behavior and depressive symptoms, as well as the potential moderating effects of family relations.
Eight years of longitudinal data from the Family Health Study (n = 840) were used to develop a multivariate multilevel model that examined the nonlinear effects of strain—in the form of stressful life events—on delinquent behavior and depressive symptoms.
The empirical results suggested that strain has an exponential effect on the delinquency when family relations are poor and a diminishing effect on depressive symptoms when family relations are strong.
The findings of this study lend support to the argument that strain has nonlinear effects on delinquency, crime, and depressive symptoms. This suggests that research should consider nonlinear effects in more detail when assessing of GST. Moreover, good family relations can serve to protect youth against the untoward effects of strain and thus may provide a practical focus for intervention efforts.
Original Publication Citation
Hoffmann, John P. 2019. “Nonlinear Strain Effects on Delinquent Behavior and Depressive Symptoms.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 56(2): 213-253.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hoffmann, John P., "Nonlinear Strain Effects on Delinquent Behavior and Depressive Symptoms" (2018). Faculty Publications. 3819.
Journal of Research in Crime and Deliquency
Family, Home, and Social Sciences