Violent responses to strain: An examination of conditioning influences

Paul Mazerolle, Alex Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Past research on General Strain Theory (GST) has not widely examined the application of the theory for understanding violent responses to strain. Additionally, the theory suggests there may be varying effects of strain on possible deviant outcomes across individuals differentiated on their dispositions toward deviance. In the current analysis, we examine violent responses to strain using original data collected from a sample of college- aged youth. Moreover, we specifically examine whether the effects of strain and anger on possible violent outcomes are invariant across individuals differentiated on their level of exposure to deviant peers and moral constraints against deviance. Using structural equation modeling, our results suggest that a composite measure of strain increases respondents' intentions to engage in assaultive behavior net of other predictors. Additionally, the results reveal that anger mediates the impact of strain on possible violent responses. Finally, the results of our subgroup analyses suggest that the basic form of the GST model is invariant across groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-343
Number of pages21
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

Cite this