Strain Theory: The Effects Of Family Conflict And Delinquency

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Family Conflict and Delinquency 519 phenomena, they are separate in their relations to behavioral outcomes. Our results show that the effects of strain on delinquency are different among boys and girls; that is, family conflict has stronger effects on delinquency among boys than among girls. This is not consistent with prior research within general strain theory (Hoffman and Miller, 1998; Paternoster and Mazerolle, 1994), which has found that stressful life events have a similar effect on delinquency and delinquency escalation among males and females. In our case, we see that the main difference between girls and boys lies in the effects of anger on delinquency, which is much stronger for boys than for girls, but in the same direction. While…show more content…
As girls are more strongly emotionally affected by strain and show higher levels of anger, one might expect them to also be more delinquent than boys. Our findings indicate that lower levels of delinquent behavior among girls may stem from counteractive effects of depressed mood and anger on behavior. While our study shows that they indeed feel no less angry than boys in reaction to stress, girls also experience more depressed mood. As the study has revealed, depressed mood and anger often co-occur in adolescents, whereas they have separate effects on behavioral outcomes. High level of depressed mood hence may hinder adolescents in reacting on their feelings of anger by bursting out. As girls in general experience higher levels of depressed mood, this may explain why they are less likely to become delinquent. In general we find that there is a large difference between the effects of parental support and strain on emotional reactions by gender. Thus, parental support is a stronger predictor of both depressed mood and anger among girls than among
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