SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article #1: Bruinsma, G. (2016). Proliferation of crime causation theories in an era of fragmentation: Reflections on the current state of criminological theory. European Journal of Criminology, 13(6), 659-676. doi:10.1177/1477370816667884

Abstract: In this presidential address I reflect on the theme of the 2015 annual European Society of Criminology meeting by addressing and discussing the issue of the overwhelming number of crime causation theories in criminology, as well as providing a brief assessment of their quality. The discipline possesses a mixture of hundreds of perspectives, definitions, ideas, sketches, multiple factors, theories and single hypotheses that are partly true and partly untrue, and none are completely true or untrue. It will be argued that, among other factors, criminologists in fact apply hardly any rule to distinguish between true and untrue theories. I sketch the evolution of the discipline and some of its features that led to the current state of affairs. With these issues in mind I raise the question of whether this situation is good or bad for criminology. A future challenge for the discipline will be a stronger commitment by criminological researchers to design more epistemological and methodological studies to limit further proliferation of criminological theories and improve their quality. To reach that reduction, three strategies will be discussed.


Journal Article #2: Elite, D., & Elite, T. M. (2016). General strain theory and delinquency: Extending a popular explanation to American Indian youth. Youth & Society, 48(4), 470-495. doi:10.1177/0044118X13499593

Abstract: Despite evidence that American Indian (AI) adolescents are disproportionately involved in crime and delinquent behavior, there exists scant research exploring the correlates of crime among this group. We posit that Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) is well suited to explain AI delinquent activity. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examined a subsample of AI students--a study that represents, to the best of our knowledge, the initial published test of GST principles used to explain AI delinquent behavior. Overall, we find mixed support for the core principles of GST applying to AI delinquent behavior. We also found evidence that some of the personal and social resources identified by Agnew condition the strain–delinquent behavior relationship, albeit, sometimes in ways that are not entirely consistent with GST.