Strain Theory & Cognitive Restructuring
A general strain theory was proposed by Robert Agnew. In this theory, he proposed that strain did not arise when people had a failure to meet the American Dream, but that everyone, in every social class, had frustrations in his or her daily life.
Most strain theorists listed failure to achieve goals as a major strain precipitator. Agnew had identified two additional sources of strain: presentation of noxious stimuli and removal of positively valued stimuli. Examples of presentation of noxious stimuli would be an abusive parent, an overly critical instructor, and an overly demanding employer. Examples of the removal of positively valued stimuli would be losing a job, getting a divorce, and filing for bankruptcy.
1. Create a scenario that would fall under the strain theory. In the scenario, provide an explanation of each of the following:
– The loss of the major goal
– The presentation of the noxious stimuli
– The removal of the positively valued stimuli
2. When you have these 3 inputs of strain in your scenario, address the following:
– How would the person in the scenario react with criminal behavior or behavior that would not be acceptable to society? Explain.
– How could cognitive restructuring be used to prevent the person from partaking in criminal behavior? Explain.