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Agency and outcome expectancies for crime desistance: measuring offenders' personal beliefs about change†

Agency and outcome expectancies for crime desistance: measuring offenders' personal beliefs... Abstract While the majority of offenders eventually desist from crime, the internal psychological mechanisms hypothesized to drive the process of desistance and offender change have not been systematically measured. This study developed scales for assessing intention to change, or offenders' beliefs regarding their perceived ability to stay crime-free (agency) and expected outcomes for crime and desistance (expectancies). Incarcerated offenders (N=142) endorsed these beliefs in a way that is consistent with theories of offender change. The structure of beliefs suggests offenders with positive expectancies for desistance and negative expectancies for crime also endorse a higher sense of personal agency to desist. Outcome expectancies for desistance were unrelated to static risk variables, suggesting these measures may be complementary to risk assessment. Overall, the scales developed for this research showed high internal consistency and evidence for concurrent and construct validity. Refining the measurement methods and assessing recidivism outcome post-release should further advance this avenue of research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Psychology, Crime & Law" Taylor & Francis

Agency and outcome expectancies for crime desistance: measuring offenders' personal beliefs about change†

"Psychology, Crime & Law" , Volume 18 (6): 23 – Jul 1, 2012

Agency and outcome expectancies for crime desistance: measuring offenders' personal beliefs about change†

"Psychology, Crime & Law" , Volume 18 (6): 23 – Jul 1, 2012

Abstract

Abstract While the majority of offenders eventually desist from crime, the internal psychological mechanisms hypothesized to drive the process of desistance and offender change have not been systematically measured. This study developed scales for assessing intention to change, or offenders' beliefs regarding their perceived ability to stay crime-free (agency) and expected outcomes for crime and desistance (expectancies). Incarcerated offenders (N=142) endorsed these beliefs in a way that is consistent with theories of offender change. The structure of beliefs suggests offenders with positive expectancies for desistance and negative expectancies for crime also endorse a higher sense of personal agency to desist. Outcome expectancies for desistance were unrelated to static risk variables, suggesting these measures may be complementary to risk assessment. Overall, the scales developed for this research showed high internal consistency and evidence for concurrent and construct validity. Refining the measurement methods and assessing recidivism outcome post-release should further advance this avenue of research.

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References (123)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1477-2744
eISSN
1068-316X
DOI
10.1080/1068316X.2010.511221
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract While the majority of offenders eventually desist from crime, the internal psychological mechanisms hypothesized to drive the process of desistance and offender change have not been systematically measured. This study developed scales for assessing intention to change, or offenders' beliefs regarding their perceived ability to stay crime-free (agency) and expected outcomes for crime and desistance (expectancies). Incarcerated offenders (N=142) endorsed these beliefs in a way that is consistent with theories of offender change. The structure of beliefs suggests offenders with positive expectancies for desistance and negative expectancies for crime also endorse a higher sense of personal agency to desist. Outcome expectancies for desistance were unrelated to static risk variables, suggesting these measures may be complementary to risk assessment. Overall, the scales developed for this research showed high internal consistency and evidence for concurrent and construct validity. Refining the measurement methods and assessing recidivism outcome post-release should further advance this avenue of research.

Journal

"Psychology, Crime & Law"Taylor & Francis

Published: Jul 1, 2012

Keywords: crime desistance; offender change; agency; outcome expectancies; antisocial attitudes

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