Teaching Students About Strain Theory

As a teacher, it’s important to understand the different theories that can explain deviant behavior among students. One such theory is Strain Theory, which provides a useful framework for understanding how certain social conditions can lead to deviant behavior.

Strain Theory argues that certain societal structures and values can put strain on individuals to achieve success, but not everyone has equal access to the means to achieve this success. When individuals are unable to achieve the goals set by society, they may experience strain or frustration. This strain can take various forms, including feelings of anger, resentment, or disappointment. In some cases, this strain may lead individuals to engage in deviant behavior as a way to cope with these negative emotions.

As a teacher, teaching students about Strain Theory can help them understand how societal pressures and expectations can impact their behavior. When students have a better understanding of this theory, they can reflect on their own experiences and consider how they might cope with the strain they feel. For instance, students who struggle academically may feel a significant amount of strain to succeed in school. Without successful coping mechanisms, they may feel a sense of hopelessness and resort to deviant behavior such as drug use, vandalism, or truancy.

To teach Strain Theory, teachers can use real-life examples that students can relate to. For instance, students may resonate with stories of athletes who face a significant amount of pressure to perform well, while also being exposed to unfair expectations and limited resources. Students can examine how these pressures might impact the behavior of these athletes, and then apply the same ideas to their own lives.

Another important aspect of teaching Strain Theory is to focus on strategies for coping with the strain individuals feel. This could include developing strategies for managing emotions, setting achievable goals, and seeking out support. Teachers can also encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports or clubs, which can provide a sense of community and help students manage the pressures they face.

In conclusion, teaching students about Strain Theory is a valuable tool for educators who want to help students understand the underlying causes of deviant behavior. By providing students with an understanding of how societal pressures and expectations can lead to strain, teachers can equip students with the tools they need to make healthy choices and cope with challenging situations. This not only helps individual students but also contributes to building a more positive and supportive school community.

Choose your Reaction!