Criminal Motivation in Robert Agnew's General Strain Theory

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Criminal Motivation in Robert Agnew's General Strain Theory Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) argues that strain or stress is the major source of criminal motivation. He expands upon Merton’s Anomie Theory of strain and stress to include several causes of strain or stress. Agnew categorizes 3 types of strain that produce deviance: the failure to achieve positively valued goals, the loss of positive stimuli, and the introduction of negative stimuli. There are several different actions that can be taken to correct the strain in order to curb deviance, including exercise, counseling, and advocacy programs. Furthermore, we will also look at how this relates to domestic violence. As first mentioned there are 3 categories to Agnew’s theory. The first category, the failure to achieve positively valued goals, suggests that “communities… may affect crime rates by influencing goals that residents pursue and the ability… to achieve such goals through legitimate channels” (Agnew, 1999). This category includes 3 subcategories: the failure to reach ideal goals, the failure to achieve expectations, and the failure to be treated in a fair and just manner. The failure to reach ideal goals also includes personal inadequacies in abilities and skills in achievement of immediate goals. The second subcategory, the failure to achieve expectations will in turn develop into “anger, resentment, and disappointment” (Akers, p159). This idea relies on the outcome of the person’s behavior. Strain is augmented when the actual accomplishments of a person are less than what was anticipated. The last, failure to be treated in a fair and just manner, is a result of differences between a person’s personal view of what should happen and... ... middle of paper ... ...g strategies will help a person deal with stress in a non-criminal manner. It’s also suggested that domestic violence is caused by both stresses from inside the home, and those acquired from social relationships. Bibliography: References Agnew, Robert. (1992). Foundation for General Strain Theory of Crime and Delinquency. Criminology: Volume 30, Issue 1 (p47-87). Agnew, Robert. (1999). A General Strain Theory of Community Differences in Crime Rates. Journal of Research in crime and Delinquency: Volume 36, Issue 3 (p123, 33p). Brezina, Timothy. (1999). Teenager Violence Toward Parents as an Adaptation to Family Strain. Youth and Society: Volume 30, Issue 4 (p416, 29p). Broidy, Lisa; Agnew, Robert. (1997). Gender and Crime: A General Strain Theory Perspective. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency: Volume 34, Issue 3 (p275, 32p).

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