skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 184866 Find in a Library
Title: Social Cognitive (Attributional) Perspective on Culpability in Adolescent Offenders (From Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice, P 345-369, 2000, Thomas Grisso and Robert G. Schwartz, eds. -- See NCJ-184852)
Author(s): Sandra Graham; Colleen Halliday
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637-1496
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
Publicity Director
5801 Ellis Avenue
4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60637-1496
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter develops the argument that a social-cognitive theory of motivation based on causal attributions can assist in determining culpability in adolescent offenders.
Abstract: The chapter begins with a brief overview of the main principles of attribution theory, focusing on those tenets most pertinent to issues of culpability. Next, the authors describe a program of attribution research with adolescent offenders and those at risk for offending. This research addresses four topics: the attributional biases of delinquent youth, their attitudes about the fairness of the justice system, their understanding of the social functions of accounts such as confession, and the relationship between beliefs about control and adjustment following release from confinement. Through these themes, this chapter applies attributional theory to probe the causal thinking of youthful offenders. The chapter shows that many deviant adolescents have a distinctive way of viewing the world, and this view shapes their decision making in contexts that put them at risk for criminal offending. This chapter also makes the case that the way youthful offenders view their causal world reflects an immaturity in decision making that policymakers should consider when determining youths' degree of culpability for criminal transgressions. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 51 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Antisocial attitudes; Cognitive developmental theory; Criminal responsibility; Juvenile offender attitudes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.