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J Res Crime Delinq. 2010 Nov 1;47(4):469-495.

Effects of Hurricane Katrina and Other Adverse Life Events on Adolescent Female Offenders: A Test of General Strain Theory.

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  • 1Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.


This study tested Agnew's General Strain Theory (GST) by examining the roles of anger, anxiety, and maladaptive coping in mediating the relationship between strain and three outcomes (serious delinquency, minor delinquency, and continued involvement in the juvenile justice system) among adolescent female offenders (N = 261). Strains consisted of adverse life events and exposure to Hurricane Katrina. Greater exposure to Hurricane Katrina was directly related to serious delinquency and maladaptive coping. Hurricane Katrina also had an indirect effect on minor delinquency and Post-Katrina juvenile justice involvement mediated through maladaptive coping. Adverse life events were associated with increased anger, anxiety, and maladaptive coping. Anger mediated the relationship between adverse life events and serious delinquency. Anxiety mediated the relationship between adverse life events and minor delinquency. Maladaptive coping strategies were associated with minor delinquency and juvenile justice involvement. Findings lend support to GST.

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