Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S. in Geographic Information Science

Organizational Unit

College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Geography and the Environment


Social strain theory, Fairfax County, Virginia, Crime data, Great Recession


Robert Merton, through the Social Strain Theory, suggests that crime exists because of society’s demands do not meet individuals needs. The following study is a qualitative study that first explains what the Social Strain Theory is, then tests to see if this theory has any validity to one of the most affluent counties in the United States. This study compares Fairfax County’s socioeconomic variables with the their crime data during the Great Recession to uncover any trends or patterns for which Robert Merton would say are due to high amounts of Social Strain. The overall results of the study suggest that social strain does have some impact on crime totals.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jason D. Reyes


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


72 pgs

File Size

4.1 MB