Gender, Race, and Class Variation in the Effect of Neighborhood Violence on Violent Deliquency: An Intersectional Analysis of General Strain Theory

Jennifer Castro, University of Maryland at College Park

In the past few decades, countless youth have been exposed to chronic community violence; yet, few criminological researchers have examined the effect of this neighborhood violence on youths' own assaultive behavior, and no known researcher has examined the possibility of variation in this effect across intersections of gender, race, and class. By utilizing an intersectional approach to general strain theory, the present study analyzes the effect of neighborhood violence (as a source of negative and noxious stimuli) on individual violence for eight intersections of gender, race, and class, while controlling for other sources of individual-level strain and differential association. The main questions addressed are (1) whether juveniles from violent neighborhoods exhibit more violence than juveniles from nonviolent neighborhoods and (2) whether the magnitude and significance of this effect vary by intersections of gender, race, and class. The self-report data analyzed was collected from 3,214 juveniles as part of the 1995 National Survey of Adolescents (Kilpatrick & Saunders). Results provide support for intersectional variation in the effect of experiencing and witnessing neighborhood violence on youths' engagement in violent delinquency.

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Updated 05/20/2006