Baron and Hartnagel make an attempt to use the classic strain theory as a tool for explaining delinquency, such as drug use and property and committing violent crimes. The article was published in 2002 by authors with the sociological background. Still, the fact that the article was published more than fifteen years ago does not make it less valuable for understanding the issue of youth delinquency. The main conclusion made by the authors is that the interaction between labor market strain and the formation of delinquent criminal norms is significant. In particular, in case of experiencing hardships with achieving material success (the foundation of the labor market strain), the risks of committing property crimes, as well as using drugs, are extremely high. Therefore, the focus on labor market strain and the connection between these strains with criminal offense rates might be used as a perfect foundation for supporting the street youth, as well as other risk groups, and helping them live in line with socially acceptable rules.
To begin with, when I read the article for the first time, I felt that each argument presented by the authors was properly developed and proved, so I agreed with each idea right away. For me, this article is a proper example of scholarly work because the authors write it in a way that a person with no theoretical background in strain theory (just like me before reading it) is not forced to conduct additional research for understanding the motivation for carrying out the investigation. From this perspective, I believe that the main purpose of the article was to both explain the strain theory and test it in practice. What convinced me that the conclusions are credible and could be believed is the authors’ approach to testing their hypothesis. The very fact that they used three different instruments for explaining the connection between labor market strain and youth delinquent behaviors made me believe that their ideas are correct and applicable to the modern world.
Even though the focus is made on Canadian street youth, I believe that the article has a far more reaching impact on different social groups regardless of their age or socio-economic background as well as the country of origin. When I read the article, it was apparent for me that the ideas presented by the authors could serve as the ground for developing adequate support strategies that could help cope with the challenge of crimes and delinquent behaviors. To be specific, because the article points to the direct link between the failure to become financially successful (economically independent) and crime-related intentions, social support initiatives aimed at helping develop adequate and efficient coping strategies could be valuable for eliminating the risks of delinquent behaviors. In fact, delinquency and related crimes are based on the inability to live with the feeling of unfairness and anger resulting from it, so teaching youth to cope with it and foster personal development might not only decrease the risks of crimes but also improve the overall atmosphere in any community.
All in all, the article is not only written well and provides credible information but also applicable to the modern world and vulnerable populations. For me, the value of this piece of writing comes down to the vast opportunities for obtaining a better understanding of vulnerable groups of population regardless of their age. Although the article is based on only one approach to explaining crime involvement and delinquent behaviors (classic strain theory), it points to the strains to be addressed in order to enhance the safety of any society and the overall welfare of its members.