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Agnew's General Strain Theory

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Agnew's General Strain Theory

  1. 1. Agnew’s General Strain Theory
  2. 2. • Dr. Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory evolved from Merton’s Strain Theory (Lilly et al.,2011). • The Strain theory differs from Social Control theory and the Social Learning theory on their definition of :  Types of social relationships that lead to delinquency  Motivation for delinquency Manofdepravity.com (Agnew,1992)
  3. 3. Strain Theory focuses on: •Negative relationships with others •Delinquency as the result of pressure by negative states such as anger and other negative emotions as a result of negative relationships (Agnew,1992) FoxNewsLatino.com
  4. 4. The General Strain Theory groups several types of strains under three main categories. Each category refers to the type of relationship with others. 1) Strain as the failure to achieve positively valued goals: A) Difference between the aspirations/expectation and actual achievements: Influenced by factors such as social class, intelligence, physical attractiveness, physical ability, etc. B) Difference between the expectations and the achievements: These expectations are created by the individual as ideal goals based on the understanding of what he/she should be able to achieve C) Difference between just/fair outcomes and the actual outcome: This strain is based on the individual’s understanding of what he/she considers fair (Agnew,1992).
  5. 5. 2) Strain as the removal of positively valued stimuli from the individual Kavaliro Staffing Services.com Caused when a positively valued stimuli is removed and the result is delinquency. This criminal behavior may present itself as an attempt to prevent the loss of the stimuli, obtain a replacement for the stimuli or as an act of revenge for the loss of the stimuli (Agnew,1992). Examples of this strain are the loss of a close friend, end of a relationship, being laid off from a job, etc. (Lilly et al.,2011)
  6. 6. 3) Strain as the presentation of negative stimuli It is based on the actual or anticipated presentation of negative or noxious stimuli . Examples of negative and/or noxious stimuli are physical and sexual abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, dangerous school, etc. Agnew’s General Strain Theory states that noxious stimuli could promote aggression and other negative outcomes . Agnew explains that noxious stimuli could cause juveniles to engage in delinquent behavior as a way to escape or avoid the negative stimuli, terminate the negative stimuli or seek revenge against the negative stimuli Justiceforchildren.org (Agnew,1992).
  7. 7. Links between strain and delinquency •Negative affect, especially anger, promotes the desire to correct a situation, making delinquency a possible option •Delinquency may be used to ease strain caused by the failure to achieve positively valued goals, •Delinquency may be used to protect or retrieve positive stimuli •Delinquency may be used as a tool to neutralize negative stimuli •Delinquency may be used as a tool of revenge for the inability to achieve, protect or retrieve positively valued goals (Agnew,1992). NBC33News.com
  8. 8. References Agnew, R., Dr. (1992). Foundation for a General Strain Theory of Crime and Delinquency. Criminology, 30(1), 47-87. Retrieved from http://courses.missouristate.edu/karlkunkel/soc540/agnew.pdf Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2011). Criminological Theory, Context and Consequences (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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