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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Strain theories state that certain strains or stressors increase the likelihood of delinquency. These strains include such things as harsh parental discipline, negative relations with teachers, peer abuse, criminal victimization, and a desperate need for money. Delinquency may be a way to escape from strain. This article discusses the link between strain and delinquency. It begins with an account of history of strain theories of delinquency. It then describes those strains that are most likely to cause delinquency, discussing why these strains increase delinquency. Following this, the article reveals those factors that increase the likelihood that juveniles will cope with strains through delinquency. It draws on strain theory to explain group differences in delinquency, such as the higher rates of offending among males. Researchers continue to examine factors that affect the likelihood of delinquent coping. Finally, the article concludes with a discussion of the implications of strain theory for controlling delinquency.

Keywords: strain, stressors, delinquency, strain theories, victimization, juveniles, delinquent coping

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