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NCJ Number: 77396 Find in a Library
Title: Personality Types and Recidivism Among Young Delinquents
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:21  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1981)  Pages:159-165
Author(s): B J McGurk; A W McEwan; F Graham
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This British paper examines personality types among young delinquents and relates these personality types to recidivism.
Abstract: The study was carried out in 1973 at Her Majesty's Detention Center, Medomsley, Durham, England, a custodial institution for about 120 young men serving sentences of between 3 and 6 months. Usually detention centers are used by the courts for persistent offenders for whom noncustodial measures have failed. A total of 315 men completed the personality tests, which consisted of the Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire, the Psychological Screening Inventory, and the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire, Form E. The raw scores of the subjects on the tests were subjected to a cluster analysis from the computing package Clustan. This technique is based on a distance function which is the sum of the squared deviations of two series of scores. Subsequent to the release of the subjects from the detention center, a 2-year followup of reconvictions was carried out. The reconvictions rates of the clusters which emerged from the cluster analysis were contrasted, first using a chi-square test and secondly, to control for the influence of previous convictions, using a log-linear model from the computer program GLIM. Finally, the cluster solution was subjected to a discriminant function analysis from the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Examination of the error terms generated by the cluster analysis showed that the first large change occurred at the four-cluster level. Four personality types were identified: type 1, the largest group, labeled the anxious group; type 2, the smallest group, labeled the normal group; type 3, labeled the disturbed group; and type 4, the second largest group, labeled the truculent group. Of the total sample of 315 subjects, 191 (60.8 percent) were reconvicted within 2 years of release from the detention center. A total of 46 percent of the anxious group, 60 percent of the normal group, 69 percent of the disturbed group, and 71 percent of the truculent group were reconvicted. In contrast to earlier studies, these results provide a clear indication that the personality characteristics of young delinquents relate to recidivism. The paper suggests that future research should be focused on examining subgroups of delinquents rather than on examining differences between those reconvicted and those not reconvicted. Tables and approximately 25 references are included.
Index Term(s): England; Juvenile Recidivism; Male juvenile delinquents; Personality assessment; Testing and measurement
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