There has been extensive research conducted on recidivism among serious juvenile offenders. This study examines juvenile recidivism through the lenses of General Strain Theory (GST). GST has been used in previous studies to explain recidivism, however, secure placement and its effect on juvenile mental health, has not been studied. The purpose of this study is to test for a relationship between emotional responses like anger and hostility and secure placement, utilizing the Pathways to Desistance data. I will also examine if anger and hostility act as a mediator between secure placement and recidivism. Pathways to Desistance was a prospective study of serious juvenile offenders in Phoenix, Arizona (N = 654) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (N = 700). Specifically, I examined if secure placement, as measured by length of time spent in a secure facility (i.e., detention center), affects self-reported offending and criminal history. Anger and hostility were measured using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis and Melisaratos, 1983). If results suggested that assigning juveniles to a secure placement does evoke negative emotional responses which in turn increase the likelihood of recidivism, policy reflecting a more constructive deterrent and rehabilitation for juveniles would need to be created.
Ray, James V.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Shaw, Alessia R., "Can General Strain Theory be Used to Explain the Relationship Between Recidivism and Secure Placement?" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 757.