The purpose of this paper is to compare learning-disabled (LD) and non-LD offenders in terms of their relating styles and to examine the relationship between relating styles and offence types.
Two groups of male offenders completed the Person’s Relating to Others Questionnaire – Version 3 (PROQ3) and were compared using an independent groups design. An adapted version of the PROQ3 was given to the first group, which consisted of 18 LD offenders detained within a mental health hospital. The second group consisted of 30 offenders detained within a Category B prison in the UK. Offenders were assigned to one of four offence categories (violence, homicide, sexual and robbery) and compared in terms of their PROQ3 scores.
The findings suggest that the sample of LD offenders had increased relating deficits compared to the non-LD offenders. The LD offenders achieved higher scores on four of the eight PROQ3 subscales; Upper Neutral (UN), Upper Close (UC), Neutral Close (NC), Lower Distant, and the total score. Significant differences were found on the UN, NC, Neutral Distant (ND), Upper Distant (UD) subscales and the total score for the robbery offenders compared to the other offence categories. Violent offenders achieved higher scores on the UC and Lower Distant subscales.
The need for research to focus on evaluating the treatment needs of lower functioning offenders in order to aid the development of LD-specific interventions. The need to evaluate the appropriateness of adapting mainstream offence focussed programmes for the LD population, given that there are potentially different treatment needs between these two distinct groups.
The results indicate that cognitive functioning is associated with higher levels of interpersonal deficit, suggesting increased treatment needs for the LD offender population. The study also highlighted that different treatment needs exist between the LD and non-LD offenders.
Craven, R. and Tonkin, M. (2017), "Negative relating styles of learning-disabled and non-learning-disabled offenders", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 198-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-07-2016-0030Download as .RIS
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