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NCJ Number: 238113 Find in a Library
Title: Severity and Frequency of Reactive and Instrumental Violent Offending: Divergent Validity of Subtypes of Violence in an Adult Forensic Sample
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:February 2012  Pages:202-219
Author(s): Jennifer L. Tapscott; Megan Hancock; Peter N. S. Hoaken
Date Published: February 2012
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Grant Number: 410-2008-2461
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the validity of distinguishing between reactive and instrumental violence by reviewing the characteristics of adult male offenders' prior conventions.
Abstract: A common practice in forensic research is to distinguish between reactive and instrumental violence, but recent critics have asserted that these subtypes of violence are not orthogonal and that this distinction has outlived its usefulness. To test the validity of the reactive–instrumental distinction, the authors reviewed the official files of 71 violent male offenders to determine the frequency and severity of reactive and instrumental violent offending. Overall, 79 percent of violent offenses could be categorized as purely instrumental or purely reactive, and as hypothesized, reactive violent offenses were more severe than instrumental violent offenses. Both parametric and nonparametric correlation analyses indicated that the frequency of instrumental violent offending was negatively related to the frequency of reactive violent offending. These findings support the reactive–instrumental distinction. Implications pertaining to offender specialization, the general theory of crime, and specialized rehabilitation programs are discussed. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Violent offenders
Index Term(s): Canada; Federal correctional facilities; Offenses; Rehabilitation; Violent men
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