SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Hay, C., Fortson, E. N., Hollist, D. R., Altheimer, I., & Schaible, L. M. (2006). Impact of community disadvantage on the relationship between the family and juvenile crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 43(4), 326–356.

Abstract: Prior research on the family has identified many variables significantly associated with criminal involvement, including such things as parental supervision and discipline and the quality of the parent–child relationship. However, little attention has been devoted to the possibility that the effects of these variables on crime depend on characteristics of the social context in which a family resides. Using data from a national sample of adolescents, the authors examined how the effects of key family variables depend on two indicators of a community’s level of disadvantage: its objective level of community poverty (as indicated by U.S. census data) and its perceived inadequacy as a place to raise children (as rated by parents). The analysis suggests that community disadvantage significantly amplifies the effects on crime of problems in the family environment. The implications of this conclusion for criminological theory and future research on the causes of crime are addressed.

Article 2: Unnever, J. D., Colvin, M., & Cullen, F. T. (2004). Crime and coercion: A test of core theoretical propositions. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 41(3), 244–268.

Abstract: In his recent Crime and Coercion, Colvin contends that individuals exposed to coercive environments develop social-psychological deficits that enhance their probability of engaging in criminal behavior. Using a sample of 2,472 students from six middle schools, the authors test core propositions of Colvin’s differential coercion theory. Thus, they assess whether delinquent involvement is related to four coercive environments: parental coercion, peer coercion, a coercive school environment, and a coercive neighborhood environment. The authors also assess whether the influence of these coercive environments on delinquency is mediated by four social-psychological deficits: coercive ideation, anger, school social bonds, and parental social bonds. The analysis revealed fairly consistent support for the core propositions of differential coercion theory. Thus, they found that students exposed to coercive environments develop social-psychological deficits and therefore engage in relatively serious delinquent behavior.

Article 3: Moon, B., Blurton, D., & McCluskey, J. (2008). General strain theory and delinquency: Focusing on the influences of key strain characteristics on delinquency. Crime Delinquency, 54(4), 582–613.

Abstract: The study examines the effects of recent, older, and chronic strains and of perceived injustice of strain on delinquency, sampling 777 Korean youth. Seven key strains most likely leading to delinquency, some of which were often overlooked in previous research, were included, and these are family conflict, parental punishment, teachers’ punishment, financial strain, examination-related strain, being bullied, and criminal victimization. Overall, the findings provide some support for general strain theory’s prediction that some recent strains and perceived injustice have significant effects on delinquency. The results show that recent and older teachers’ physical and emotional punishment and victimization are positively related to general delinquency. However, chronic parental punishment and chronic bullying are negatively related to general delinquency, inconsistent with Agnew’s prediction. The findings also indicate the critical importance of including types of strain that are unique to certain cultures into tests of the theory.