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NCJ Number: 69802 Find in a Library
Title: Vocational Interests of Criminal Offenders - A Typological and Demographic Investigation
Journal: Psychological Reports  Volume:46  Dated:(February 1980)  Pages:315-324
Author(s): W S Laufer
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using the Vocational Preference Inventory, this study examined vocational interests and personality characteristics of 201 inmates at the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore, Md.
Abstract: Three criminal typologies and demographic information were used in the study to differentiate and predict levels of vocational interest. Five criminal groups were represented in the sample: murderers (94), armed robbers (63), rapists (25), assaulters (15), and drug offenders (4). The mean age was 29, 148 subjects were black, and the average level of education was ninth grade. Each subject completed the Vocational Preference Inventory (a personality inventory composed of vocational titles) and a demographic questionnaire. Answer sheets and demographic questionnaires of the five criminal groups were arranged according to three different typologies: social-solitary (offenders who in their past criminal history had been arrested with or without an accomplice), legal (offenders who were distinguished by their self-reported legal classification), and overcontrolled or undercontrolled (offenders scoring above or below the median of self-control scale). Results clearly supported the idea that criminal offenders have moderate interest in traditional non-criminal vocations and are generally differentiated with respect to their vocational aspirations. Another important finding was that certain personality typologies, employed in previous criminological studies, are effective and applicable with respect to vocational interests. The study replicated previous reported work alleging that blacks score higher on most scales of the inventory than whites underlining that race can be of great value in predicting and differentiating levels of vocational interest. Though results did not identify a criminal type, incarcerated inmates were shown to be a moderately depressed, troubled population. Finally, the study suggests that the number of years spent in prison, as well as the number of previous arrests, do not substantially affect the vocational interests of criminals. Tabular data and a list of approximately 33 references accompany the report.
Index Term(s): Maryland; Offenders; State correctional facilities; Vocational interest tests
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