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Within-individual effects of strain on crime/drug use and conditioning effects of criminal coping propensity: Random-effects models

Cited 4 time in Web of Science Cited 4 time in Scopus

Jang, Sung Joon; Na, Chongmin

Issue Date
Pergamon Press Ltd.
Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol.63, pp.25-40
© 2019 Elsevier LtdPurpose: We examine whether general strain theory (GST) explains within-individual changes in crime and illicit drug use over time. We also test whether an index of criminal coping propensity and markers for the propensity condition the effects of strain on crime and illicit drug use, considering the non-linearity of conditioning effects. Methods: We estimated random-effects models using 11-wave panel data from the Pathways to Desistance study of juvenile offenders. Results: We found within-individual changes in violent victimization were positively associated with those in self-reported offending, official arrest, and marijuana use, while holding constant time-invariant and time-varying covariates. We also found the criminal coping propensity index increased the strain effects on all three dependent variables in a non-linear fashion, whereas evidence of the conditioning effects of three markers (gang involvement, being male, and the early onset of problem behaviors) was limited. Conclusions: This study provides empirical support for GST to be a theory amenable to within- as well as between-individual differences in crime and drug use. It also shows that GST-proposed conditioning effects are likely to be non-linear and have a better chance to be detected if conditioning factors are examined in combination rather than in isolation from one another.
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