Spare the Rod, Endanger the Child? Strain, Race/Ethnicity, and Serious Delinquency

Ryan E. Spohn, Spencer D. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


General strain theory has evolved into a comprehensive theory of delinquency by incorporating factors that condition the relationship between strain and delinquency as well as acknowledging the subjective nature of strain. This study advances general strain theory by examining the conditioning role of race and the manner in which race influences the subjective experience of strain. Examining a nationally representative sample of adolescents, this study finds that ethnic minorities generally experience greater strain. However, the effect of strain is not consistently more criminogenic for ethnic minorities. Our research suggests that the impact of strain on delinquency is conditioned by the sociocultural context of race/ethnicity. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-193
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Victimization
  • ethnicity
  • juveniles
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Law


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