Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Garland White

Committee Member

Lucien Lombardo

Committee Member

Judi Caron-Sheppard

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 C67 2006


This study investigates the following two research questions: To what extent, if any, do traumatic experiences contribute to juvenile delinquency? To what extent, if any, does gender affect the relationship between trauma and juvenile delinquency? The extent of trauma was reviewed to include various studies relating to the impact trauma has on juveniles. Robert Agnew's General Strain Theory provided support for the differences that exist between males and females when it comes to trauma contributing to juvenile delinquency. Gender differences in emotional response to strain were reviewed, focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The data that provided support for the study of trauma contributing to juvenile delinquency came from the National Survey of Adolescents in the United States, 1995. A variety of analytical techniques were used to investigate the research questions. The correlation between the violence/delinquency variables, trauma and PTSD were examined by using bivariate-correlations. Crosstabulations were used to determine the percentages of trauma and PTSD on each gender. Logistic regression was used to test the significance of the relationship between traumatic events, PTSD and delinquency.


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