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The role of criminal cognitions and personality traits in non‐violent recidivism: an empirical investigation within a prison sample

Ashling Bourke (Based in the Department of Education, St Patrick's College, Dublin, Ireland)
Daniel Boduszek (Based in the Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)
Philip Hyland (Based in the Psychology Department, University of Ulster, Derry, Northern Ireland)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 15 March 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the current study is to investigate criminal psycho‐social cognition, criminal associates and personality traits as predictors of non‐violent recidivism.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consisted of 179 male non‐violent offenders. Each offender completed self‐report measures assessing criminal attitudes, criminal associates, criminal social identity and Eysenck's personality traits. Recidivism was assessed through self‐reported frequency of imprisonment. A sequential moderated multiple regression analysis investigated the relationship between criminal thinking, criminal social identity and level of recidivism with the moderating role of personality.

Findings

Results indicate that criminal thinking is moderated by personality in the prediction of recidivism such that respondents who score high on psychoticism and low on neuroticism and extraversion show a positive association between criminal think styles and recidivism.

Research limitations/implications

It is suggested that future research and risk assessment instruments consider the interaction between risk factors in the prediction of recidivism, rather than investigating the factors independently.

Originality/value

This study is a valuable contribution as it investigates non‐violent recidivism specifically, and informs on the moderating influence of personality in the prediction of this behaviour.

Keywords

Citation

Bourke, A., Boduszek, D. and Hyland, P. (2013), "The role of criminal cognitions and personality traits in non‐violent recidivism: an empirical investigation within a prison sample", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 40-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/20093821311307758

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited