Title page for ETD etd-0709102-115258

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lyons, Jason Alan
URN etd-0709102-115258
Title General Strain Theory and Social Support: A Study of African Americans
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sung Joon Jang Committee Chair
Bill Bankston Committee Member
Yoshinori Kamo Committee Member
  • strain
  • social support
Date of Defense 2002-05-08
Availability unrestricted
Agnew’s (1992) general strain theory (GST) has gained increasing attention and empirical support for the effects of strain on negative emotions and deviant coping. However, previous research provides inconsistent results about (1) the effects of negative emotions on deviant coping, (2) the significance of social support in GST, and (3) gender differences and GST. This paper addresses these issues by testing hypotheses generated from GST and analyzing data collected from a nationally representative sample of African American adults. Results from ordinary least squares regression analyses generally support the hypotheses. First, the effects of strain on deviant coping are fully mediated by negative emotions. In addition, the same-directed effects of negative emotions on deviance (outer-directed negative emotions on outer-directed deviance) are larger than opposite-directed effects (inner-directed negative emotions on outer-directed deviance) as hypothesized. Second, social support was found to have significant direct effects on both negative emotions and deviant coping, while buffering effects of social support on strain and negative emotions as well as negative emotions and deviance were not observed. Finally, this study found no gender differences in emotional reactions to strain and the buffering effects of social support. Implications of these findings are discussed as well as the future development of GST.
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