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NCJ Number: 63258 Find in a Library
Title: EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN OFFICIAL SANCTIONING ACTIONS, SELF-CONCEPT, AND USE OF NEUTRALIZATIONS
Journal: LAE (LAMBDA ALPHA EPSILON) JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ASSOCIATION  Volume:42  Issue:NOS 1 AND 2  Dated:(WINTER/SPRING 1979)  Pages:21-29
Author(s): J H KRAMER; D J STEFFENSMEIER
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: American Criminal Justice Association
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: INTERRELATIONSHIPS OF THREE VARIABLES AFFECTING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY WERE EXAMINED: OFFICIAL SANCTIONING, SELF-CONCEPT, AND NEUTRALIZATIONS.
Abstract: RESULTS SHOW THAT NEUTRALIZATION OFFSETS LOWERED SELF-ESTEEM CAUSED BY SANCTIONING. NEUTRALIZATIONS ARE THE DELINQUENTS' ATTEMPTS TO RATIONALIZE THEIR BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES TO DEFLECT SOCIAL AND SELF-DISAPPROVAL. PRECEDENT STUDIES INVOLVING THESE VARIABLES WERE DISCUSSED. THE FOLLOWING HYPOTHESES WERE TESTED: (1) INSTITUTIONALIZED JUVENILES HAVE LESS POSITIVE SELF-CONCEPTS; (2) MULTIPLE INSTITUTIONALIZATIONS LOWER THE SELF-CONCEPT; (3) INSTITUTIONALIZED DELINQUENTS DEPEND MORE ON NEUTRALIZATIONS; (4) THE GREATER THE NUMBER OF INSTITUTIONALIZATIONS, THE MORE NEUTRALIZATION IS USED; AND (5) SELF-CONCEPTS ARE LOWER AMONG INSTITUTIONALIZED DELINQUENTS WHO ARE LOW NEUTRALIZERS, AND LOWER STILL FOR THOSE INSTITUTIONALIZED MORE THAN ONCE. SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS INFLUENCING THESE RELATIONSHIPS WERE ALSO EXAMINED. QUESTIONNAIRE AND DEMOGRAPHIC DATA WERE OBTAINED FROM TWO GROUPS OF ADOLESCENT MALES: 126 INSTITUTIONALIZED MALES FROM A STATE TRAINING SCHOOL AND A STATE HOME FOR WAYWARD BOYS, AND 165 BOYS FROM A RURAL AND TOWN HIGH SCHOOL. OFFICIAL SANCTIONING WAS MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF INSTITUTIONALIZATIONS. BI-POLAR SEMANTIC ITEMS OF DIFFERENTIATION SUCH AS 'GOOD-BAD,' 'CLEAN-DIRTY,' MEASURED SELF-CONCEPT. NEUTRALIZATION WAS GAUGED BY ITEMS DESIGNED TO ASCERTAIN THE JUVENILES' CONDEMNATION OF AUTHORITIES, DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY, DENIAL OF INJURY, APPEAL TO HIGHER LOYALTIES AND DENIAL OF A VICTIM. AN INDEX OF OCCUPATIONS WAS USED FOR THE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS OF THE RESPONDENTS' FATHERS. RESULTS PARTIALLY SUPPORT THE STUDY'S HYPOTHESES. IN ADDITION, FINDINGS SHOW THE EFFECTS OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION ON SELF-CONCEPT TO BE GREATER AMONG HIGHER SOCIOECONOMIC DELINQUENTS. RECOMMENDED FOLLOW-UP STUDIES SHOULD BE CONCERNED WITH DETERMINING WHETHER NEUTRALIZATIONS FUNCTION TO PREVENT OR PROMOTE DELINQUENT CAREERS. TABLES, FOOTNOTES, AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Effects of imprisonment; Inmate attitudes; Juvenile delinquency theory; Juvenile inmates; Male juvenile delinquents; Personality assessment; Prisonization; Role perception; Self concept
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63258

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