NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ805292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4278
How General is General Strain Theory? Assessing Determinacy and Indeterminacy across Life Domains
De Coster, Stacy; Kort-Butler, Lisa
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v43 n4 p297-325 2006
This article explores how assumptions of determinacy and indeterminacy apply to general strain theory. Theories assuming determinacy assert that motivational conditions determine specific forms of deviant adaptations, whereas those assuming indeterminacy propose that a given social circumstance can predispose a person toward many forms of deviance. The authors propose that strain theory posits a strong tendency for the domains in which stresses occur to match those in which delinquency takes place. This is a source of determinacy. Drawing on stress spillover and aggression displacement arguments, the authors also discuss sources of indeterminacy--or domain crossover effects. The tendency toward domain matching that is tempered by stress spillover and aggression displacement is what the authors refer to as soft determinacy. The authors derive hypotheses from their soft determinacy argument and test them on a sample of middle school students. The results support the arguments and suggest that discussion of soft determinacy is worthy of further attention. (Contains 2 figures, 3 tables and 14 notes.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A