A "rough test" of a delinquent coping process model of general strain theory

Sung Joon Jang, Juyoung Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose: We examine a coping-process model Agnew (2013) proposed in his recent extension of general strain theory (GST). We also test whether combining variables conducive to criminal coping increases the chance of detecting their conditioning the effects of strain and negative emotions on coping. Methods: We applied structural equation modeling to analyze representative data from two waves of the Korean Youth Panel Survey, collected when respondents were eleventh and twelfth graders. Results: Holding the respondent's prior deviance and sociodemographic and theoretical controls constant, we found the criminogenic effect of objective strain on delinquent coping to be fully mediated by the objective strain's cognitive appraisal (i.e., subjective strain) and the emotional outcomes of strain. In addition, anger was found to increase internalizing (drug use) as well as externalizing coping (non-drug delinquency), whereas depression/anxiety was not related to drug use, though it decreased non-drug delinquency. However, we found little evidence that combining variables conducive to criminal coping is likely to help detect their conditioning effects than using the variables individually. Conclusions: This study provides empirical support for the coping-process model of extended GST, including the conceptual distinction between objective and subjective strain, except the suggested combinational method to detect a conditioning effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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