How Does Self-Complexity of Identity Moderate the Relationship between Strain and Crime?


Studies are inconclusive as to which characteristics exacerbate or inhibit criminal reactions to strain. This study examines how self-complexity of identity conditions the relationship between strain and crime. Those who are lower in self-complexity, or those with few overlapping identities, should be more likely to respond to strain with crime than those who are higher in self-complexity. This proposition was tested through analyzing a cross-sectional survey of 357 undergraduates at a Southeastern university. Strong support was found for the conditioning effect of self-complexity on serious crime while partial support was found for this effect on property crime. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

Deviant Behavior