Predictive validity of self‐reported self‐control for different forms of recidivism

Lena Grieger (Based in the Department of Developmental, Personality, and Forensic Psychology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany)
Daniela Hosser (Based in the Department of Developmental, Personality, and Forensic Psychology, Technical University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany)
Alexander F. Schmidt (Based in the Department of Social and Legal Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Publication date: 21 September 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the predictive validity of self‐control (SC) for several forms of criminal recidivism (general, property, violence, sexual).

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 1,838 male prisoners were interviewed while serving a prison sentence. Personality traits known to be related to SC served as operationalization of SC. Cluster analyses identified three clusters of SC‐related traits: Emotion regulation, Self‐assertion, and Effortful control. Survival‐analyses predicted recidivism, which was assessed using official data. The follow up period amounted to 72 months.

Findings

The SC‐related trait clusters significantly predicted general and violent reoffending, after controlling for established risk factors for recidivism (age, age at first offense, social status, previous youth detention, out‐of‐home placements, and length of imprisonment). However, trait clusters did not predict reoffending with a property offense. Offenders with violent or sex offenses in their criminal history showed different profiles on the trait clusters.

Originality/value

The paper shows that SC is an important risk factor for violent recidivism. SC‐related trait clusters should not be combined to form a single score, because essential information for risk profiles would be lost.

Keywords

Citation

Grieger, L., Hosser, D. and Schmidt, A. (2012), "Predictive validity of self‐reported self‐control for different forms of recidivism", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 80-95. https://doi.org/10.1108/20093821211264405

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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