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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74684 Find in a Library
Title: Cognitive Characteristics of Delinquents - Four Subgroups of Male Subjects
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1980)  Pages:387-398
Author(s): F W Spencer
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationship between cognitive factors and parentally perceived classification of delinquents as psychopathic, neurotic, immature, or socialized aggressive was investigated.
Abstract: The Role Construct Repertory Test (RCRT) was administered to 63 male juveniles being served by the Dade County, Fla., Juvenile Court Mental Health Clinic. In addition, one of each of the juveniles' parents, usually the mother, completed the Behavior Problem Checklist. The intensity, social discrepancy, and mother activeness scores of the RCRT were correlated with the age of the participants, and intensity and social discrepancy were correlated with their IQs. Participants who were perceived as psychopathic saw greatest similarity between their judge, a pastor, a liked teacher, a policeman and their court-appointed youth counselor. The psychopaths were the only group not to include a disliked teacher in this group, while neurotics were the only group not to include a youth counselor in this group. All participants also identified a peer cluster with generally similar characteristics. Socialized aggressives included friends who frequently got into trouble in this group. The psychopathic group divided the family cluster along sexual lines, socialized aggressives separated families by generation, and members of the immature group labeled all family members under one heading. Neurotics created an advisor or counselor grouping rather than a family cluster. The participants were easily able to produce the names of significant others for the RCRT, and seemed to be considerably vested in these people. Youth counselors working with young psychopathic, immature or socialized aggressive clients should be aware that they are cast as authority figures by members of these groups, but are viewed as advisors by their neurotic clients. Tables and a list of 20 references are included.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Male juvenile delinquents; Personality assessment; Psychological research
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