American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 348–368 | Cite as

Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Negative Self-Feelings on Adult Deviance: Moderated by Neighborhood Disadvantage, Mediated by Expectations

  • Heili Pals
  • Howard B. Kaplan


This paper tests two competing hypotheses, derived from general strain and middle class measuring rod theories, regarding the moderating effects of neighborhood disadvantage on the long-term relationship between adolescent negative self-feelings and adult deviance. The results from longitudinal data support the middle class measuring rod theory: adolescent negative self-feelings increase adult deviance only in middle status neighborhoods and not in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Furthermore, this effect in middle status neighborhoods is mediated by low expectations of the future in while still in adolescence. Our findings show the importance of studying the combination of both the social psychological and the contextual influences on deviance.


Transition to adulthood General deviance Neighborhood disadvantage Negative self-feelings Expectations of future 


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© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Sociology DepartmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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