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Dr. Richard Abel Successfully Defends his Dissertation

December 16, 2019

Dr. Richard Abel successfully defended his dissertation titled “Global Social Outcasting Examined through a Stress-Strain Paradigm”. His dissertation integrates the stress process paradigm with General Strain Theory and applies them to adolescent outcasting – a combination of experiences of ostracism, rejection, and interpersonal exclusion. Dr. Abel proposes the idea of Global Social Outcasting: that adolescent experiences of outcasting proliferate through different social domains. He hypothesizes that Global Social Outcasting is the catalyst in a stress-strain paradigm that triggers the experience of negative emotions, anger and anxiety which, in turn, are associated with nonviolent and violent delinquency.

This study uses data from the Kaplan Longitudinal and Multigeneration Study. Using a confirmatory factor analysis approach to variable construction, Global Social Outcasting is a second-ordered latent construct. Dr. Abel uses gendered structural equation models followed by multiple group analysis to investigate whether Global Social Outcasting has a different effect for negative emotions and deviance for boys and girls. Dr. Abel finds that Global Social Outcasting experienced by males is positively associated with nonviolent and violent delinquency indirectly through anger, but despite effects being in the expected direction, there is no such significant association for female adolescents. He also finds that Global Social Outcasting leads to reduced nonviolent delinquency through anxiety, suggesting that anxiety may act as a buffer to adolescents engaging in nonviolent delinquency, but when examining violent delinquency as the outcome, this association is only significant for males.


Abel Diagram


Congratulations, Dr. Richard Abel! This dissertation was co-chaired by Dr. Holly Foster and Dr. Heili Pals, with Dr. Jane Sell, Dr. John Eason, and Dr. Rebecca Schlegel as committee members.