Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Whaley, Rachel


As a group, Native American youth have elevated rates of delinquency and substance use. However, research specifically examining the etiology of delinquency among Native American youth is sparse. In order to fill this gap, this study utilized a general strain theory (GST) framework integrated with feminist criminological insights and an indigenist stress-coping model (ISCM) to examine the impact of victimization as a source of strain (i.e., interpersonal victimization, sexual assault, and peer assault) on delinquent outcomes (i.e., violent and property delinquency, alcohol and marijuana use) among a sample of Native American youth attending school (and likely residing) on or near Indian reservations. This study utilized secondary data from the third wave of the Drug Use Among Young American Indians: Epidemiology and Prediction: 1993-2006 and 2009-2013 study (N = 2,457). Partial proportional odds (PPO) models were estimated to examine the potential non-linear effects of victimization on delinquency while ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models were estimated to test the mediation and moderation hypotheses within GST. Models were estimated for the total sample and for males and females separately to assess for gender differences in GST processes. Special attention was paid to the role of Native American cultural identity as a moderator in the strain - delinquency relationship. Results indicate mixed support for hypotheses drawn from GST.




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