Strain Theory 1
The Columbine Massacre was a criminal event that involved two juveniles Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. The behavior of Dylan and Eric can be attributed to Strain theory. Strain theory was originated by Robert Merton in 1938. Robert Agnew revised and broadened this theory with applications relevant to the Columbine event. The strain experienced and perceived by Dylan and Eric with respect to their failure to achieve positively valued goals, inequitable relationships and the removal of positive stimuli with an increase of negative stimuli in their lives laid the groundwork for anger and violence.
This type of crime can be predicted and prevented. This can be accomplished by awareness of the climate and culture in the institutions children are involved with as well adaptations of a philosophy of inclusion. Practical applications of education and training regarding problem solving and positive peer relationships would be important preventative measures.
Processing an offender in accordance with strain theory would involve community containment with therapeutic modalities that focus on cognitive restructuring, anger management and self esteem.
Strain Theory 2
At Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and one teacher as well as wounding twenty-four others before committing suicide. This event is considered to be the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2006). The shock and horror of this tragedy forced a close examination of many issues represented in this event. The nature of high school cliques, bullying, gun control and violence in the media were hotly debated topics as people searched for answers as to why this tragedy occurred. Dylan and Eric committed these murders calmly and methodically. They operated alone in a manner that was planned out in advance with...