Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Group Characteristics and General Strain Theory

  • Stacy De Coster
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_220


Although general strain theory was developed to explain differences in offending across individuals (Agnew 1985, 2006), recent scholarly efforts suggest that the theory offers significant insight into group differences in offending. These efforts suggest that group differences in exposure to strain, emotional reactions to strain, and access to resources for dealing with strain and negative emotions contribute to different rates of offending across various groups. In applying this argument to sex differences in offending, the theoretical emphasis has been on how patriarchal structures inform gender socialization and gendered roles, which ultimately shape stress exposure, emotional and behavioral responses to stress, and the efficacy of legitimate coping resources for dealing with strain (Broidy and Agnew 1997). Explications of race differences in offending emphasize the role of additional structural arrangements and race discrimination in shaping the relationship between...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyNorth Carolina State University CampusRaleighUSA