The interactive effect of strain and personal resiliency in the explanation of deviant behaviour: age and gender differences
Op de Beeck, Hanne
Criminal Law and Criminology Leuven Institute of Criminology Leuven, Belgium
Agnew's General Strain Theory (GST), although only recently developed, became quickly one of the most prominent social-psychological theories of youth delinquency. Within this theory it is proposed that individuals who are exposed to more and/or intense stressors have a higher chance to become frustrated and, as a consequence, engage in internalizing or externalizing deviant behavior. However, this connection does not have a linear pattern. Some individuals are more resilient than others. Therefore, the independent as well as the interactive effects of the experience of frustration (strain) and personal resiliency factors (individualism, self-efficacy and morality) on deviant behavior will be tested. In this model, a specific focus will be given to age and gender differences. Considering age differences, it is assumed that adolescents will experience more stress than adults. On top of that, it is assumed that they will be higher in individualism and lower in the estimation of their self-efficacy. Considering sex differences, the hypothesis that girls and boys experience the same amount, but a different type of frustration as well as the hypothesis that girls will be lower in individualism and self-efficacy will be examined. The hypotheses will be tested with the second Flemish Youth monitor. For this database, a self-report survey was filled out by a sample of 3708 Flemish youth (minimum age was 11, maximum age was 30). Data collection started in August 2008 and was finished in January 2009.