The main purpose of the article by Stogner and Gibson published in 2010 is to investigate the assumption that health may be perceived as a strain in the general strain theory developed to explain the causes of crime and delinquent behaviors. The authors lay stress on poor health as the strain. What is special about the research is the fact that attention is paid to both poor health (as well as minor health problems) and the inability to pay for proper medical care. Moreover, the focus is made on a variety of issues, such as acts of delinquency, property and violent crimes, and violence as such. Stogner and Gibson conclude that the health-related strain is based on the prevalence of negative emotions (such as anger, low self-esteem, and depression) so that crime is seen as one of the coping strategies, and this coping technique is more satisfying compared to those generally referred to as positive coping strategies. For me, this conclusion is credible and persuading because it is not only properly developed and supported by a well-organized research but also practically valuable.
First and foremost, the article was easy to read and the authors’ thoughts were clear. For me, the process of reading was satisfying because there was no need for any outside research on the strain theory or the role of strains in crime-related intentions. Total confidence with the research results was the initial reaction. This feeling is connected not only to the context of the article but also some real-life experience related to the topic investigated by the authors. Although I have to admit that I never witnessed crimes or became a victim of a criminal, I still know people who acted delinquently when they could not afford to pay for professional medical care. Illogical as it seems, they gave preferences to drug and alcohol abuse when they became aware of health issues instead of searching for ways to obtain additional resources to pay for care. Even though none of them committed crimes, witnessing the involvement in delinquent acts due to health strain made me think that researchers’ conclusions were correct.
Returning to the quality of evidence and comprehensiveness of arguments, I support the authors’ decision to divide health issues into three groups of strain mentioned in the general theory of strain because it not only helps obtain a better understanding of this approach to explaining crime and delinquency but also points to the professionalism of the authors and their desire to provide an in-depth analysis of the studied problem. In addition, paying specific attention to psychological aspects of health strains is what as well persuaded me to share the authors’ beliefs. To be specific, I do support the view that the cause of health-related involvement in crime is the lack of adequate social support, just like mentioned in the article.
To conclude, I would like to say that, regardless of the focus on youth, this article is a valuable piece of information that might affect different groups of population. The reason for making this point is the fact that additional stress is laid on the criticality of social support. Although authors view the latter from the perspective of parental support and financing the needs of children, a more comprehensive attitude to the problem might be of value for any community. The point here is that the inability to pay for care commonly results in property crimes or the further deterioration of health because of different delinquent acts, so if the local authorities play the role of parents and support local vulnerable groups by providing either access to care or helping develop positive coping skills, the overall crime rate might be reduced.