- Revisiting Lombroso
- Biology and Crime
- Parenting and Crime
- The Psychology of Criminal Conduct
- Risk Factors and Crime
- Social Learning and Crime
- Hirschi’s Criminology
- General Strain and Urban Youth Violence
- Social Support and Crime
- Life-Course-Persistent Offenders
- Change in Offending across the Life Course
- Two Approaches to Developmental/Life-Course Theorizing
- Peer Networks and Crime
- Contemporary Gang Ethnographies
- Girls, Friends, and Delinquency
- Gender and Theories of Delinquency
- Neighborhood Ties, Control, and Crime
- Community, Inequality, and Crime
- Street Culture and Crime
- The Code of the Suburb and Drug Dealing
- Social Institutions and Crime
- The Market Economy and Crime
- Immigration and Crime
- Choosing Street Crime
- Choosing White-Collar Crime
- Emotions, Choice, and Crime
- Routine Activity Theory
- The Theory of Target Search
- Crime Places and Place Management
- Multilevel Criminal Opportunity
- Coercion and Crime
- Green Criminology
- Perceptual Deterrence Theory
- The Effects of Imprisonment
- Coercive Mobility
Abstract and Keywords
This article proposes Robert Agnew's general strain theory (GST) as an alternative to subcultural and social disorganization theories. Unlike other crime theories, GST highlights the negative social relations and emotions that pressure individuals into crime. GST is particularly relevant to urban youth violence; young people have a greater tendency to experience strains conducive to violence and to react to them with violence. Moreover, GST helps to explain the self-perpetuating cycle of violence that consumes many youth, a major phenomenon in many inner-city communities whereby high levels of violent victimization act as a major strain that prompts further violence. After providing an overview of GST, this article examines how it explains urban youth violence. It then reviews research on the validity of GST and its application to urban youth violence, giving special attention to research on community violence exposure/victimization. It also uses GST to explain the origin of those deviant subcultures that also trigger urban youth violence.
Timothy Brezina is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Georgia State University.
Robert Agnew is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology at Emory University.
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