Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology/Criminal Justice

Committee Director

Ruth A. Triplett

Committee Member

Randy R. Gainey

Committee Member

Brian K. Payne


This study was an examination of General Strain Theory's contention that gender discrimination. as a source of strain. can lead to deviant behaviors. Specifically. the effects of gender discrimination in the workplace on theft by employees. The study was unique in that it utilized a sample split three different ways. First, by gender, second by perceived and actual measures of both crime and discrimination, and third, by combined versus separate discrimination measures. The third item being particularly unique. The study utilized bivariate correlations and logistic regression throughout for statistical analyses. The results indicated that combined measures were not as effective at predicting the likelihood of intentions to steal/theft as the separate measures and that significant results were highly dependent upon gender and the type of discrimination. Additionally, the results suggest that GST may not be as suited to predicting theft by employees when faced with discrimination as psycho-social factors. Indeed. control variables had the greatest effect on decisions to commit theft, presumably operating as drivers for the subjective evaluation of strains. These last few points are important as they contribute to both strain and crime literature. The separation of strains into distinct types and using both perceived and actual measures garnered several interesting results not achieved in prior research. The study also discussed policy implications, limitations, and future research.