Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Christopher, Karen Lyn

Author's Keywords

General strain theory; Stress; Masculinity; Crime; Drug trafficking; Drugs


Masculinity--Social aspects; Drug dealers--Psychology; Male college students--Effect of stress on; Drug abuse and crime


This thesis integrates James Messerschmidt's Masculinity Theory (1997) with Robert Agnew's General Strain Theory (1992) to examine the relationship between failure to achieve ideal masculine standards, resultant psychological stressors, and the decision to engage in illicit drug activity. OLS and Binary Logistic Regression was performed on a sample of male college students (N = 851) to examine three hypotheses. Findings support the hypothesis that a positive relationship exists between failed masculinity and negative emotions. Partial support was found for the hypothesis that a positive relationship exists between negative emotions and drug trafficking. Partial support was also found for the hypothesis that negative emotions mediate the relationship between failed masculinity and selling drugs. The results of this study suggest that drug use and criminal history are stronger predictors of drug trafficking and further analysis of these relationships is encouraged.