Monday, December 17, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, December 17, 2007


NCJ 220511
Helen C. Wakeling
Psychometric Validation of the Social Problem-Solving Inventory--Revised with UK Incarcerated Sexual Offenders
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Volume:19 Issue:3 Dated:September 2007 Pages:217 to 236

This study tested the reliability and validity of the Social Problem-Solving Inventory-Revised (SPSI-R; D'Zurilla, Nezu, and Maydeu-Olivares, 2002), which is designed to measure social problemsolving, defined as "the self-directed cognitive behavioral process by which a person attempts to identify or discover effective or adaptive solutions for specific problems encountered in every day living." The SPSI-R was found to have good reliability as measured by internal consistency and test-retest reliability, as well as adequate validity. It has good convergent validity, as significant correlations were found between SPSI-R subscales and measures of self-esteem, impulsivity, and locus of control; however, SPSI-R subscales were found to correlate significantly with a measure of socially desirable responding. This finding is discussed in relation to recent research which suggests that impression management may not invalidate self-report measures. The SPSI-R was sensitive to sexual offender intervention, with problem-solving improving after treatment for both rapists and child molesters. Future research should cross-validate the SPSI-R with other behavioral outcomes in order to examine the external validity of the measure. The sample with which this testing was conducted consisted of 499 adult male sexual offenders incarcerated in the United Kingdom. All had participated in a cognitive-behavioral Sex Offender Treatment Program between April 2004 and April 2005. An additional sample of 30 sexual offenders was used for the test-retest reliability analysis. The sexual offenders completed all of the measures as part of a wider psychometric test battery designed to assess treatment need in sexual offenders. 5 tables and 66 references

NCJ 220521
Elaine Gunnison; Paul Mazerolle
Desistance From Serious and Not So Serious Crime: A Comparison of Psychosocial Risk Factors
Criminal Justice Studies
Volume:20 Issue:3 Dated:September 2007 Pages:231 to 253

Using data from the National Youth Survey, this study examined whether psychosocial factors differentiated offenders who desisted from reoffending from those who reoffended and whether these factors varied for offenders who desisted from general and more serious forms of offending. Results show that risk factors such as delinquent dispositions, delinquent peer association, perceived certainty of punishment, and drug/alcohol use distinguished desisters from reoffending from persisters in reoffending. Involvement in conventional activities and marriage distinguished desisters from persisters for general delinquency; i.e., desisters from less serious crime exhibited stronger bonds to marriage. The measures that distinguished desisters and persisters from serious delinquency differed from those found for general delinquency. The findings suggest that desisters from general crime are more likely to be influenced by social control and deterrence measures than desisters from serious crime. Recommendations are offered for future research. The data used in the analyses were drawn from the first seven waves of the National Youth Survey, a well-known panel study developed from a national probability household sample of adolescents across the United States. Throughout each of the seven waves, data were collected through personal interviews. The total number of individuals for whom data existed across all 7 waves was 1,224, representing a 29-percent attrition rate. Measures included in the analyses addressed processes of social control, deterrence, strain, and social learning. General delinquency was measured with a scale developed by the researchers. Desistance and persistence was measured over a period of 3 years. 4 tables, 9 notes, and 70 references

NCJ 220505
Alex Stevens; Daniele Berto; Ulrich Frick; Viktoria Kerschl; Tim McSweeney; Susanne Schaaf; Morena Tartari; Paul Turnbull; Barbara Trinkl; Ambros Uchtenhagen; Gabriele Waidner; Wolfgang Werdenich
Victimization of Dependent Drug Users: Findings from a European Study, UK
European Journal of Criminology
Volume:4 Issue:4 Dated:October 2007 Pages:385 to 408

Using data on 545 dependent drug users entering treatment in 4 European countries (England, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany), this study examined their criminal victimization and factors linked to it. This sample of dependent drug users was found to have experienced high levels of criminal victimization in the preceding year. Their victimization levels were much higher than those reported by respondents to general household victimization surveys. The drug users most vulnerable to victimization were women (especially sex workers), the homeless, recent offenders, and those with a history of poor mental health. More frequent drug use, a history of depression and anxiety, and recent offending were significantly associated with violent victimization. Only gender and a history of serious anxiety were significantly associated with property victimization. Patterns of associations among these variables were reasonably stable across the four countries. The priority given to mental health issues in the analyses suggests that this is an important area that deserves more research and treatment attention. The sample for this study came from a European study of quasi-compulsory treatment (QCT) of drug-dependent offenders. The four countries chosen for the study operated reasonably similar models of QCT, in that drug-dependent offenders had the opportunity to enter some form of drug treatment as an alternative to imprisonment. The study used an adapted version of the European Addiction Severity Index in face-to-face, confidential interviews. It yielded data on demographics, medical status, employment/support status, drug/alcohol use, family/social relationships, and psychiatric status. In order to collect information comparable to the largest victimization survey in Europe, researchers used questions adapted from those used in the British Crime Survey in order to determine their experiences of criminal victimization. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 68 references

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