The present study investigated the influence of strain in the form of adolescent motherhood on maladaptive coping in the form of delinquency among 6628 adolescent females. A series of tobit regression analyses revealed a significant, negative effect of adolescent motherhood on delinquency, a finding that persisted when controlling for coping factors and other known correlates of crime. Although these results are contrary to the predictions of general strain theory, the findings lend some support to theoretical approaches that associate low-self control, low self-esteem, and social support with delinquency. The results underscore the importance of considering measures of opportunity in future tests of general strain theory.
- General strain theory
- Maladaptive coping
- Teen motherhood
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies