General strain theory, peer rejection, and delinquency/crime

George E. Higgins, Nicole L. Piquero, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The development of general strain theory (GST) has led to a renewed focus on the influence of negative life experiences on antisocial behavior. Although a number of studies have generated an impressive array of support for the theory, several avenues remain open for research. In this article, we examine how a specific noxious stimuli, peer rejection, relates to delinquency/crime, and the degree of shared relation among peer rejection and delinquency/crime. Using data from a national sample of 413 children and adolescents, analyses indicated two highly stable trajectories of peer rejection and three trajectories of delinquency/crime, that peer rejection and delinquency/crime were not strongly related in general, but a joint analysis of their relationship revealed that high peer rejection was related to high delinquency/crime among males but not among females. Implications and directions for future research are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1297
Number of pages26
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • crime
  • delinquency
  • general strain theory
  • peer rejection
  • trajectories

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