Title

The Conditional Effects of Stress on Delinquency and Drug Use: A Strain Theory Assessment of Sex Differences

Keywords

adolescents, individual-level strain theory, stress, delinquency, drug use

Abstract

Agnew's reconceptualization of individual-level strain theory has suggested several ways in which stress among adolescents affects delinquent behavior. However, the general stress literature from which much of Agnew's theory is drawn indicates that sex conditions the effects of stress on various outcomes among adolescents. The present article elaborates Agnew's general strain model by assessing the sex-specific effects of stressful life events on delinquency and drug use, using two waves of data from 11- to 17-year-old adolescents who participated in the High Risk Youth Study (N = 803). The results of a structural equation model indicate that there are few important sex differences; stressful life events have a similar, short-term impact on delinquency and drug use among females and males. Furthermore, the authors find that changes in life events are associated with greater delinquency and drug use.

Original Publication Citation

Hoffmann, John P., and S. Susan Su. 1997. “The Conditional Effects of Stress on Delinquency and Drug Use: A Strain Theory Assessment of Sex Differences.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 34(1): 46-78.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1997-2

Publisher

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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