S/He's a Rebel: Toward a Sequential Stress Theory of Delinquency and Gendered Pathways to Disadvantage in Emerging Adulthood Academic Article uri icon


  • Quantitative longitudinal research neglects theoretical and qualitative work indicating that delinquency is a developmental phase embedded in a chain of emotions leading to cumulative disadvantage in the life course. Building on prior work in the sociological subfields of mental health, delinquency, and the life course, we propose and test a gendered and age-graded sequential stress theory that treats delinquency as a transitional event or set of events that can play an additive and intervening role in the movement from earlier feelings of anger through rebellious or aggressive (i.e., delinquent) forms of behavior to later depressive symptoms, and, especially, for males, drinking problems. Our results fill in transitional spaces that include a mediating role of delinquency in the cumulation of disadvantage and downward trajectories in gendered pathways to emerging adulthood.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hagan, J., & Foster, H.

citation count

  • 95

publication date

  • September 2003