The strain theory lays emphasis on the way in which that the society is structured, and the limited mechanisms that people have available to them to allow them to realize the goals that they desire. This theory perceives crime as a product of the frustrations and anger that people feel when they fail to achieve the goals that are before them. In this perspective, therefore, it is evident that the forces that are generated socially are the ones that force people to engage in deviant behavior (Stiles, et al., 2000). These strains are not distributed evenly in the society, and they are prevalent in those groups that are associated with high crime rates (Richard & Messner, 2002).
When based on the breakdowns that are attributed to social order, especially with respect to the unequal access to success, normlessness (anomie) serves as one of the sources of these breakdowns. The concept of anomie was adopted in order to help explain the increased risk of suicidal activities that are produced by the social changes that are noted in the society (Merton, 1996). For instance, anomie suicide is used to refer to the acts that are associated with self-destruction that emerges when the society's norms are noted to the breakdown in an abrupt manner. These occur especially during incidences of political crisis or economic depression (Messner & Roenfeld, 2007).
General Strain Theory Concept
Robert Agnew developed a version of the strain theory, which he referred to as general strain theory (GST). General strain theory lays emphasis on the forces that influence the strain level that an individual portrays. This theory tries to explain the reason as to why the strained people tend to engage in criminal activities more while compared to those who are not strained (Agnew & Brezina, 2002). By basing his arguments on psychological, sociological and research in mental health, Agnew managed to expand various adaptations that a person may respond to, especially when reacting to the strains that are prevalent in the social environment (Nikkos, 2008). Based on Agnew’s beliefs, it is evident that there are a large number of forces that influence the choice that one makes with respect to adapting to criminal and non-criminal acts. He also lays emphasis on the concept of interpersonal relationships (Messsner b & Rosenfield, 2001). For instance, GST provides descriptions that are related to the relationships that do not treat people the way in which that they wish to be treated (Piquelo & Sealock, 2007). There are a number of negative relationships that make people to engage in strain. There are as follows: There are those people