Data from a random sample of 327 adults in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, are used to test hypotheses derived from general strain theory concerning the effect of strain on frequency of alcohol use among men and women. The findings lend mixed support to the theory. Although women reported relatively high levels of strain, strained females tended to use alcohol to cope only when in a close relationship with someone who abused alcohol regularly. At the same time, strain was associated with a significant increase in alcohol coping among men, regardless of peer relations. However, for both genders, alcohol-condoning beliefs consistently outperformed strain as a predictor of drinking behavior. No evidence was found of conditional relations involving legitimate coping strategies or deviant beliefs. Contextual and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
- General strain theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science