Examining the Race and Gender Intersection on Experiences of Strain

Crystal Stephens, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT
Drawing upon Agnew's (1992) General Strain Theory, this study expands upon past research by examining the distinct strains experienced by specific demographic groups. Past research is limited in that it focuses on few strains (Agnew 1985, Agnew and White 1992, Agnew and Brezina 1997, Brezina 1996,1998,1999, Broidy 2001, Capowich, et al. 2001, Hoffman and Su 1997, Mazerolle 1998, and Mazerolle and Piquero 1998) and overlooks the intersection between race and gender by focusing solely on gender or race (Agnew and Brezina 1997, Broidy and Agnew 1997, Broidy 2001, Hoffman and Su 1997, Joseph 1995, Mazerolle 1998, Mazerolle and Piquero 1998). Recognizing the structural effects of race and gender, this study explores the intersection between gender and race in experiences of strain. Using The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, I look at various types of strains including: blocked or limited opportunities, fairness, negative life events, interpersonal strains resulting from romantic, friendship, parental, and sibling relationships, school strains, neighborhood strains, and health strains. Preliminary findings suggest evidence of gender and race specific strains, findings compatible with the tenets of Agnew's General Strain Theory. Future research will focus on longitudinal, multivariate analyses that explore the mechanisms that link strains to delinquency for various race and gender groups.

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Updated 05/20/2006