Disadvantaged Neighborhoods and Anger: Implications for Community-Level Theories of Crime and Delinquency

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Title: Disadvantaged Neighborhoods and Anger: Implications for Community-Level Theories of Crime and Delinquency
Author: Burns, Padraic Joseph
Advisors: Virginia Aldige, Committee Member
Stacy De Coster, Committee Chair
William R. Smith, Committee Member
Abstract: This paper is a partial and exploratory test of Bernard’s (1990) theory of angry aggression within disadvantaged communities as well as Agnew’s (1999) community-level strain theory. These theories posit that disadvantage and other structural characteristics of neighborhoods lead to environmental stressors, which ultimately may increase anger among individuals who externalize attributions of blame. To date, no study has assessed whether structural characteristics of neighborhoods are related to increased individual anger. Using Ross and Britt’s (1995) survey of Community, Crime, and Health: Illinois Residents, I assess Bernard’s (1990) and Agnew’s (1999) theoretical arguments. The findings show that only one structural indicator measured at the census tract level, urban location, is related to the individual outcome of anger. However, the stressors assessed in this study are positively related to anger, particularly among individuals who externalize blame. There are two main implications of these findings. (1) Community crime models should include measures of emotions such as anger, as community processes have psychological impacts on individuals that may motivate them to commit criminal acts. (2) The structural indicators identified by Bernard (1990) and Agnew (1999) require reevaluation, as only urban location was shown to be related to anger.
Date: 2009-04-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1408


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