Saturday, May 26, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, May 26, 2007


NCJ 218164
Elaine Gunnison ; Lisa M. McCartan
Role of Different Development Experiences: A Theoretical Examination of Female Persistence
Women & Criminal Justice
Volume:16 Issue:3 Dated:2005 Pages:43 to 65

This study examined female persistence patterns in crime using an integrated theoretical approach. The results indicate that two main factors were significantly related to female persistence in criminality: (1) prior sexual abuse and (2) association with delinquent peers. The main factors that seemed to distinguish between male and female offending rates appeared to be exposure to risk (association with delinquent peers) and a history of physical and sexual abuse. These findings suggest that different developmental issues for females should be addressed in the development of a theoretical explanation for female crime persistence. The findings also have implications for policymakers in terms of the development of prison-based programming that addresses female physical and sexual abuse. Participants were 131 female inmates residing in a southwestern prison who volunteered to complete a self-report survey focusing on their life history, prior criminal involvement, and demographic information. Participants were recruited through fliers in female prison pods that explained the research. Data were analyzed using stepwise logistic regression analyses. Future research on criminal persistence should continue to focus on distinguishing between male and female persistence to determine similarities and differences in persistence patterns. Tables, notes, references

NCJ 218168
Loretta J. Stalans ; Magnus Seng
Identifying Subgroups at High Risk of Dropping Out of Domestic Batterer Treatment: The Buffering Effects of a High School Education
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume:51 Issue:2 Dated:April 2007 Pages:151 to 169

This study identified the subgroups of domestic batterers who are at low or high risk of failing to complete domestic batterer cognitive behavioral treatment in order to inform the development of an assessment tool to determine risk of treatment failure. Results revealed that three groups were at high risk of treatment failure: (1) unemployed generalized aggressors; (2) high school dropouts court mandated into substance abuse treatment; and (3) unemployed offenders court mandated into substance abuse treatment. Having a high school education, even among unemployed and impoverished offenders, increased the chances of treatment completion for both domestic batterer programs and substance abuse programs. Furthermore, the findings indicate the importance of separating generalized aggressors from family-only batterers in predicting treatment failure. The findings suggest that offenders who have basic life skill challenges, substance abuse problems, and general violent tendencies are less likely to benefit from domestic batterer treatment. It is suggested that courts and probation officers encourage offenders to complete high school or job training before mandating domestic violence treatment. Participants were 355 domestic batterers ordered to complete treatment by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) during October and November 2000. Of the 355 batterers, 31.8 percent did not complete treatment. Variables under investigation included treatment failure and predictors of treatment failure. Data included the offender’s criminal histories, substance abuse problems, demographic characteristics, offense characteristics, prior mental health problems, and offense characteristics. Data were examined using two methods, which were then compared: (1) classification tree analysis (CTA); and (2) logistic regression models. The authors demonstrated that CTA, compared to logistic regression analysis, was a better statistical approach to determining groups of offenders at high risk for treatment failure. Future research should focus on the development of an assessment tool to determine risk of treatment failure. Tables, notes, references

NCJ 218176
Stephen W. Baron ; David R. Forde ; Fiona M. Kay
Self-Control, Risky Lifestyles, and Situation: The Role of Opportunity and Context in the General Theory
Journal of Criminal Justice: An International Journal
Volume:35 Issue:2 Dated:March/April 2007 Pages:119 to 136

This study of 125 homeless male street youths explored how low self-control, risky lifestyles, and their reactions to social circumstances influenced their involvement in violent behaviors as both offenders and victims. The study results indicated that particular subscales of low self-control influenced the way street youths reacted to criminal events and the likelihood that they would become involved in violence as either offenders or victims. The authors argue that self-control does not appear to be a unidimensional construct as suggested by Gottfredson and Hirschi. Instead, self-control appeared in this study to involve six distinct elements that had differing effects on violence involvement among the youth. The findings indicated that violent offending was predicted by the temper component of low self-control and by both behavioral measures of low self-control. Two other factors also emerged as significant in influencing street youths’ propensity to become involved in violence: (1) risky lifestyle, and (2) the situational dynamics of conflicts. The findings suggest that situational factors and learned responses for aggression can mediate the effects of low self-control for youths’ involvement in crime. The findings also suggest that certain components of self-control are important to understanding violent behavior. Participants were 125 youth who met the following criteria: (1) under the age of 24 years; (2) had left or finished school; and (3) had spent at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week hanging around in the street or in the mall. Participants were recruited through snowball sampling. Interviews took place between May and July of 1995 in a midwestern Canadian city. Future research should continue to reach beyond self-control measures and integrate decision-making theories to help understand the causes of crime. Tables, figures, appendix, notes, references

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