Strain Theories: Strain theory states that people who experience strain due to difficulty obtaining socially valued goals such as success, wealth, power, respect and recognition will resort to criminal activity as an alternative means of achieving those goals. This theory was developed by Robert Merton in 1938 and has since been modified by several theorists including Albert Kornhauser, Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin. In addition to explaining criminal behavior, strain theory has also been utilized to explain suicide rates among adolescents as well as deviant forms of leisure activities such as gang involvement.
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