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General Strain Theory and Prisoner Reentry: Testing the Impact of Social Stressors on Recidivism among Ex-Prisoners

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Abstract:

According to Agnew’s (1992) general strain theory (GST), exposure to many stressors (strains) within a short time span increases an individual’s risk for criminal behavior. Further, the impact of strains may be conditioned by cognitive and social coping resources, such as self-esteem, mastery, and religiosity, which enable an individual to deal with strains in a noncriminal manner. This study applies the tenets of GST to explain recidivism among a sample of recently released prisoners. This population tends to encounter many social challenges upon release from prison, and prior research has shown that they have a high risk for recidivism. This analysis employs data from the Urban Institute’s Returning Home study, a comprehensive, longitudinal study that provides information on returning prisoners’ social experiences and subjective perspectives both during incarceration and after release. Using a subsample of 740 males, I examine the effects of a social stressor index, as well as the potential buffering effects for mastery, self-esteem, and religiosity, on recidivism. The findings demonstrate that social stressors have a positive effect on recidivism, and religiosity buffers this effect. Interactions between social stressors and self-esteem and mastery were not significant. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.
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Association:
Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373595_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Farrell, Jill. "General Strain Theory and Prisoner Reentry: Testing the Impact of Social Stressors on Recidivism among Ex-Prisoners" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 04, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373595_index.html>

APA Citation:

Farrell, J. L. , 2009-11-04 "General Strain Theory and Prisoner Reentry: Testing the Impact of Social Stressors on Recidivism among Ex-Prisoners" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373595_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: According to Agnew’s (1992) general strain theory (GST), exposure to many stressors (strains) within a short time span increases an individual’s risk for criminal behavior. Further, the impact of strains may be conditioned by cognitive and social coping resources, such as self-esteem, mastery, and religiosity, which enable an individual to deal with strains in a noncriminal manner. This study applies the tenets of GST to explain recidivism among a sample of recently released prisoners. This population tends to encounter many social challenges upon release from prison, and prior research has shown that they have a high risk for recidivism. This analysis employs data from the Urban Institute’s Returning Home study, a comprehensive, longitudinal study that provides information on returning prisoners’ social experiences and subjective perspectives both during incarceration and after release. Using a subsample of 740 males, I examine the effects of a social stressor index, as well as the potential buffering effects for mastery, self-esteem, and religiosity, on recidivism. The findings demonstrate that social stressors have a positive effect on recidivism, and religiosity buffers this effect. Interactions between social stressors and self-esteem and mastery were not significant. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.


Similar Titles:
Strain, Religiosity, and Delinquency among Latino American Adolescents: A Test of General Strain Theory for a Neglected Ethnic Group

The Impact of Marriage and Employment on Prisoner Reentry Outcomes: A Test of Social Bond Theory

Strain, Imprisonment, and Recidivism: A Test of General Strain Theory


 
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