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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204925 Find in a Library
Title: Heterogeneity in the Association Between Social-Emotional Adjustment Profiles and Deviant Behavior Among Male and Female Serious Juvenile Offenders
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:48  Issue:2  Dated:April 2004  Pages:235-252
Author(s): Elizabeth Cauffman Ph.D.; Alex R. Piquero Ph.D.; Lisa Broidy Ph.D.; Dorothy L. Espelage Ph.D.; Paul Mazerolle Ph.D.
Date Published: April 2004
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relationship between gender, social-emotional adjustment, and deviant behavior among a sample of 105 serious juvenile offenders.
Abstract: Research on deviant behavior has often focused on the personality. Empirical studies have demonstrated that offenders differ from nonoffenders on a number of personality traits. The current study examined whether distinct adaptive styles and related personality traits were present within a sample of 105 serious juvenile offenders under the guardianship of the California Youth Authority. Also probed in this study was whether there were differences within and between male and female subsamples and whether distinct personality profiles were related to variations in the level of delinquent involvement. Participants completed questionnaires that measured social-emotional characteristics and self-reported levels of deviant behavior. Specific measurement instruments completed by the participants included the 62-item Weinberger Adjustment Inventory and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Results of various statistical analyses revealed significant relationships between distress and restraint in predicting deviant behavior. This finding did not vary by gender. However, results also indicated that female offenders were more likely to exhibit internalizing symptoms, such as high levels of distress, than were their male counterparts. Moreover, not only did serious girl offenders internalize more than serious boy offenders, they were also equally likely to externalize. This finding may indicate that low restraint may be an important risk factor for serious offending among girls. The use of socio-emotional measures and distinct profiles may help to target treatment programming to the specific needs of offenders and may also lead to more effective interventions. Limitations of the study include a limited sample from one location and a focus on a relatively narrow age group (14 to 19 years). Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juvenile personality characteristics; Personality assessment
Index Term(s): California; Child development; Deviance; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Serious juvenile offenders
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