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General Strain Theory

GeneralStrain Theory


Incriminology discipline, the examination of the reasons why peoplecommits crimes is crucial in the day to day debates on how crime canbe dealt with and prevented. A lot of theories have arose and they goon to be explained both in individually and combination whencriminologists finds the remedies in declining the levels of crimes(Cullen et al, 2006). The following are thegeneral descriptions of the theories in criminology

  • Rational choice theory: A person commits crime after weighing a lot of options and consequences including being arrested against the rewards to be gotten from crime.

  • Social organization theory: one’s social and physical environment is responsible for his or her behavior. For instance. A place with bad social environment is likely to be characterized by high crime rates such as poor schools, high rate of unemployment and vandalized and unoccupied buildings (Cullen et al, 2006).

  • Strain theory this theory shows that people have similar goals but all does not have means of achieving such goals. If they fail to meet their goals through hard work they will devise other means of achieving it through crime.

  • Social learning theory: this theory shows that people develop crime habits through the people they live or stay with.

  • Social control theory people would commit crimes but are restricted by institutions such as churches, workplace, families and schools.

  • Labeling theory: there is the attitude of terming people as labels. People who commit crimes are labeled criminal and when a person is termed criminal he or she has been deprived of opportunities and leads to doing of more crimes (Sadd, 2005).

  • Biology genetic theory: mental illness, poor dietary, poor brain chemistry and evolutionary status are the causes of crime in an individual in the society.

Thispaper has demonstrated how the general strain theory is used toprevent crime. This general strain theory is focuses on therelationships which are negative and relates with other theories andgive suggestion that the anger and frustrations which occurs giverise to delinquency. This theory explores and combines threedifferent theories of criminology. They demonstrate that youths areable to achieve their positive aspirations and reduce the chancesthat they will lose their worthy possessions of friends and reducethe exposure that they will be exposed to negative environment orstimuli for instance the physical abuses.

Asnoted by Hashiguchi(2014), thereare programs which have been formulated to deal with crimes such asthe family based programs, individual programs and peer programs. All these programs explains on how the problems can be solved, how tocontrol anger and teaches on other means of coping with the stress toavert delinquent methods. All these programs shows success and needto be further researched on to avoid rise of delinquency (Lillyet al, 1989).

Todeal with the illegitimate or criminal activities, the youths need tobe asked on how they have gotten involved in criminal activities inthe past. They need to be asked on items such as theft of steelingitems valued at $11 or less theft of an item worth $50 or more,smuggling or selling marijuana and other illegal drugs, threateningand hitting a person, damaging properties belonging to others, use ofarms or weapon to get money, accusing someone to get money or otherthings which could have been obtained and being arrested by police(Lillyet al, 1989).

Thegeneral strain theory calls for the analysis of the following incrime prevention controls for social influences, personality anddemographic effects. Moreover, the following should be taken intoconsideration controlling sex, employment status, family background,presence of mother in childhood and also father in childhood, race,sex, deviant opportunities controls, peer involvement indelinquencies, self esteem, participation in religion, enrolling insocial clubs as members, enrolling in academic clubs as members andcontrol on friends in the area or place.

Theprevention approach

Thisis the community prevention approach for crimes and is classifiedinto two categories

Thisapproach employs different assumptions on the causes of crimes. Theseare

  • The opportunity reduction methods which demonstrate that crime can be prevented through making immediate changes on a situation. This reduces the motivation of a criminal to do an offense.

  • Social development prevention approaches crime is prevented by altering the criminals through motives, skills and knowledge and disposition. This fully integrates a person in the community.

Opportunityreduction/situational approach

Introductionof methods to limit access to cash

Limitingthe access to cash is a way of preventing crime. This preventsrobbers by raising the efforts and declining the rewards on robberieshence making the crime less attractive.

Preventingmotor vehicle theft

Inthis case the programmes used include the strategic assessment,planning, public and private cooperation and public campaigns. Thisreduces theft through public education to enable security of cars,enhance the car security by manufacturers and the development ofstrategies that enables the detection of stolen cars (McShane&amp Williams, 1997).


ThePeace Builders programme

ThePeace Builders programme is destined to decline the bullying,violence and many other anti-social behaviors by means ofschool-based interventions to heighten youth resilience and enhancepositive behavior.

Communityjustice groups

Insome places there is high family violence, drug abuse and crimes onproperty.

Thecommunity provides ways of dealing with such injustices likesanctions between agencies and the community, conflict resolution andliaisons. The injustices will be able to decline (Begin,19921993).

Causal mechanisms andprevention

Thecrime which occur need to be understood on how it occurred and. Lawand order should be incorporated to stop the crimes (Hinduja,2006). The situation crime prevention initiates the social andphysical environment to be less conducive for crime and reduces thecrime risks. The offender linked crime prevention deals withinitiation of one’s personal development to ways which deter themfrom doing a crime or criminal activity (Agnew,2006).

Nature of community crimeprevention

Communitycrime prevention is seen from a number of ways one is through actionof the community and another is action with the community (Agnew,2006).This focuses on the many institutional environment of crimeprevention measures. They differentiate between communities thepolice, schools, families, places, labor markets, and the criminaljustice system. Each setting differs in the degree to which aparticular crime prevention programme is used to be a communityprogramme. Another ways is the early community focusing paving wayfor six categories namely the coordinated community programs likeintramural guidance programmes school programs police programsextramural guidance programs, boys` clubs and recreation programmes.

Illustrationof programme characterization

Thisinvolves the introduction of neighborhood watch programs to show thecommunity prevention programme. These include

  • Community members network who report the suspicious activities and incidences

  • Personal marking of properties which are valuable

  • Doing home survey to give advice on how to protect the properties from crime

  • Carrying out the public campaigns to create the awareness on the importance of preventing crime


Agnew,R. (2006). Pressuredinto crime: an overview of general strain theory.Los Angeles, Calif.: Roxbury Pub.

Begin,P. (19921993). Crimeand prevention in Canada.Ottawa: Library of Parliament, Research Branch.

Cullen,F. T., Cullen, F. T., Wright, J. P., Wright, J. P., Blevins, K. R., &ampBlevins, K. R. (2006). Takingstock: the status of criminological theory.New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.

Hashiguchi,K. (2014). Elastoplasticitytheory(2nd ed.). Berlin: Springer.

Hinduja,S. (2006). Musicpiracy and crime theory.New York: LFB Scholarly Pub. LLC.

Lilly,J. R., Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T., Cullen, F. T., Ball, R. A., &ampBall, R. A. (1989). Criminologicaltheory: context and consequences.Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications.

McShane,M. D., &amp Williams, F. P. (1997). Criminologicaltheory.New York: Garland.

Sadd,M. H. (2005). Elasticitytheory, applications, and numerics.Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.