Violent Offenders (violent + offender)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Reduced right hemisphere activation in severely abused violent offenders during a working memory task: An fMRI study

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Issue 2 2001
Adrian Raine
Abstract This study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to address two important gaps in our knowledge of brain functioning and violence: (1) What are the brain correlates of adults in the community who have suffered severe physical abuse early in life and who go on to perpetrate serious violence in adulthood? (2) What characterizes those who experience severe physical abuse but who refrain from serious violence? Four groups of participants recruited from the community (controls, severe physical child abuse only, serious violence only, and severely abused, seriously violent offenders) underwent fMRI while performing a visual/verbal working memory task. Violent offenders who had suffered severe child abuse show reduced right hemisphere functioning, particularly in the right temporal cortex. Abused individuals who refrain from serious violence showed relatively lower left, but higher right, activation of the superior temporal gyrus. Abused individuals, irrespective of violence status, showed reduced cortical activation during the working memory task, especially in the left hemisphere. Brain deficits were independent of IQ, history of head injury, task performance, cognitive strategy, and mental activity during the control task. Findings constitute the first fMRI study of brain dysfunction in violent offenders, and indicate that initial right hemisphere dysfunction, when combined with the effects of severe early physical abuse, predisposes to serious violence but that relatively good right hemisphere functioning protects against violence in physically abused children. Aggr. Behav. 27:111,129, 2001. 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Effects of MAOA -Genotype, Alcohol Consumption, and Aging on Violent Behavior

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 3 2009
Roope Tikkanen
Background:, Environmental factors appear to interact with a functional polymorphism (MAOA-LPR) in the promoter region of the monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) in determining some forms of antisocial behavior. However, how MAOA - LPR modulates the effects of other factors such as alcohol consumption related to antisocial behavior is not completely understood. Methods:, This study examines the conjunct effect of MAOA-LPR, alcohol consumption, and aging on the risk for violent behavior. Recidivism in severe impulsive violent behavior was assessed after 7 to 15 years in a sample of 174 Finnish alcoholic offenders, the majority of whom exhibited antisocial or borderline personality disorder or both, and featured impulsive temperament traits. Results:, The risk for committing new acts of violence increased by 2.3% for each kilogram of increase in yearly mean alcohol consumption (p = 0.004) and decreased by 7.3% for every year among offenders carrying the high activity MAOA genotype. In contrast, alcohol consumption and aging failed to affect violent behavior in the low activity MAOA genotyped offenders. MAOA-LPR showed no main effect on the risk for recidivistic violence. Conclusions:, Violent offenders carrying the high activity MAOA genotype differ in several ways from carriers with the low activity MAOA risk allele previously associated with antisocial behavior. Finnish high activity MAOA genotyped risk alcoholics exhibiting antisocial behavior, high alcohol consumption, and abnormal alcohol-related impulsive and uncontrolled violence might represent an etiologically distinct alcohol dependence subtype. [source]


The development of a specialist hostel for the community management of personality disordered offenders

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR AND MENTAL HEALTH, Issue 1 2009
Stephen Blumenthal
Background,Since the late 1990s, in England and in Wales, there has been increasing interest in the particular challenges of managing offenders with personality disorder (PD). In 1999, a specialist hostel, managed by the probation service but with a high level of forensic mental health service input, was opened to high-risk PD offenders. Aims,To describe the first 93 high-risk residents with PD who were completing sentences under life licence, parole or probation, and their outcome. Methods,We investigated the nature of the offences residents had previously committed, their psychological profile in terms of personality patterns on the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III) and the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), as well as staff commentary on their progress, to establish whether these factors related to outcome in terms of completion of stay in the hostel or premature discharge. Curfew failures and rearrest rates were also measured. Results,Of the 80 men who completed their residency within the two years of the study, the majority (50) left the hostel for positive reasons under mutual agreement. One-fifth were rearrested while resident, which is a lower rate than would be expected for such a group of offenders. PCL-R scores were predictive of outcome, but so was previous offending history. Self-defeating traits on the MCMI-III and negative comments written by hostel staff were also associated with failure. Conclusions,The hostel development demonstrated that probation and health services can work together to manage violent offenders with high levels of psychological dysfunction, and the evaluation provided some indications of how such arrangements might be enhanced. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Behaviour problems in childhood and adolescence in psychotic offenders: an exploratory study

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR AND MENTAL HEALTH, Issue 3 2008
Kris Goethals
Background,Several studies have shown that adults who develop schizophrenia and commit a criminal offence may already have shown behaviour problems in childhood or adolescence. It is less clear whether such problems follow a particular pattern in such patients. Aims,To examine the utility of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) among offenders, to test whether externalizing behaviour problems, as measured by the CBCL, are more frequent in psychotic offenders than in non-offenders with psychosis, and to investigate relationships between early behavioural problems and adult personality disorder in psychotic offenders. Methods,Three groups of violent offenders detained under the Dutch Entrustment Act (TBS-detainees)(n = 78) and one group of psychotic patients in general psychiatry (n = 16) were rated from case records on the CBCL. Results,There was a significant difference between psychotic offenders with a personality disorder (n = 25) and the non-offender patients with psychosis (n = 16) on the ,delinquent behavior' scale, but no such difference between psychotic offenders with (n = 25) and without (n = 21) personality disorder. A hierarchic cluster analysis revealed significantly higher scores for externalizing behaviour in all TBS-detainees with a personality disorder. Those starting to offend early had higher scores for externalizing behaviour than late starters. Conclusions,Psychotic and non-psychotic offenders with personality disorder resemble one another in their early childhood behaviour problems; psychotic offenders without a personality disorder differ from these two groups but resemble non-offenders with psychosis. In contrast to findings in non-forensic populations, there were no differences on other problem scales of the CBCL. Given the small sample sizes, replication is needed, but the findings lend weight to treatment models which focus on the psychosis in the latter two groups but extend also to personality disorder in the former. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Relating psychiatric disorders, offender and offence characteristics in a sample of adolescent sex offenders and non-sex offenders

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR AND MENTAL HEALTH, Issue 1 2007
A.Ph. Van Wijk
Introduction,Several studies have paid attention to the relationship between psychiatric disorders and adolescent offending but few have distinguished different types of offenders, especially within the category of youngsters who have committed sex offences. Aim,To test for relationships between psychiatric disorder and specific offence category among young male offenders. Method,Nationwide data were extracted from Dutch Forensic Psychiatric Services (FPD) files for five groups of offenders, as defined by their index offence: 308 violent sex offenders; 134 non-violent sex-offenders; 270 sex offenders against children; 3148 violent offenders and 1620 offenders charged with any crime other than interpersonal body contact crimes. They were compared on individual characteristics and psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM-IV criteria. Having a diagnosis of a paraphilia alone was exclusively associated with sex offending, therefore all such youths were excluded from further analyses. The OVERALS technique was used to explore possible relationships between offence, psychiatric diagnoses, sociodemographic and individual characteristics among the remaining young men for whom all pertinent data were available (n = 1894). Results,Sex offenders constituted a distinct group of juvenile delinquents. Developmental disorders were more common among non-violent sex offenders and child molesters. Violent offences were more typical of delinquents from immigrant backgrounds. Conclusion,Group differences in types of psychiatric diagnoses may reflect differences in aetiological factors for the various types of sexual and other delinquent behaviour, and this would be worthy of further study. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Psychosis and offending in British Columbia: characteristics of a secure hospital population

CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR AND MENTAL HEALTH, Issue 3 2001
Nicola Hodelet Specialist Registrar
Introduction There is an increased likelihood of violence in the mentally ill although the risk is small. Aims The study aimed to ascertain the features in a secure hospital population that linked offending and mental illness. Method A survey of patients in the high security hospital serving the province of British Columbia in Canada was carried out. Information on 175 mentally disordered offenders was extracted and included demographic data and specific characteristics of their offences, diagnoses and psychotic symptoms. Results The most prevalent offences were crimes of violence, but 39% of patients were not primarily violent offenders. Almost two-thirds (61%) had two or more diagnoses. A large majority of the patients were psychotic, schizophrenia being the most common diagnosis. There was a highly significant association between psychosis and violence, but the strength of the association was not increased by the presence of imperative hallucinations or delusions. The sample comprised various ethnic groups, one of which, Native Americans, was over-represented. However, no association was found between violent offending and ethnicity, or age or years of illness. Discussion The study replicates previous findings of the link between violent offending and psychosis, but not a specific link between violent offending and psychotic drive. A surprising finding was a lack of association between violent offences and substance misuse. Copyright 2001 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]


A comparison of risk factors for habitual violence in pre-trial subjects

ACTA PSYCHIATRICA SCANDINAVICA, Issue 2002
S. Z. Kaliski
Objective: Pre-trial referrals to the Valkenberg Hospital forensic unit over a 6-month period were studied. Habitually violent offenders were compared with those with no history of violence. Methods:, Risk factors known to be associated with violent behaviour were elicited, i.e. demographics, behaviour during index offence (such as impulsivity, identity of victim, use of weapon, accomplices, intoxication, psychotic symptoms), psychiatric and family histories, history of suicide attempts, past child abuse, head injury, criminal record, psychiatric diagnosis and presence of medical disorders. EEG's, Barratt's Impulsivity, Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking and Mini-Mental Scales were administered. Behaviour in the ward during the 30 days was also appraised. Logistic regression models were used to determine relative risks. Results:, There were 155 subjects; 89.7% were male, 71.6% were single and 58.7% were unemployed. For 44.5% the index offence was violent, and 9.7% had committed sexual offences; 61.9% had histories of habitual violence. A psychotic disorder was diagnosed in 32.3% and a personality disorder in 48.4%. Habitually violent subjects were distin- guished by a history of issuing threats (OR=3.68; CI=3.19,4.16; P= 0.000), delusions of persecution (OR=3.43; CI=2.67,4.17; P=0.001), history of conduct disorder (OR=1.95; CI=1.70,2.19; P=0.006), alcohol/substance abuse (OR=2.08; CI=1.53,2.61; P=0.008) and violent index offence (OR=1.66; CI=1.54,2.61; P=0.035). Conclusion: This seems to confirm the relationship between threats, feeling threatened, psychosis, a history of antisocial behaviour and alcohol abuse. [source]


Seasonal variations in [3H]citalopram platelet binding between healthy controls and violent offenders in Finland

HUMAN PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY: CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL, Issue 7 2005
James Callaway
Abstract Monthly binding densities (Bmax) of [3H]citalopram to the platelet serotonin transporter (SERT) was measured longitudinally over 1 year in a control group of 18 healthy Finnish male volunteers. Single platelet samples were also analysed from 33 men who were incarcerated for violent crimes during the same calendar year. A statistically significant seasonal variation in SERT Bmax was observed in both data sets, and bi-monthly floating averages for SERT Bmax were calculated and then fit to an annual sinusoidal curve for both groups. The Bmax for platelet [3H]citalopram binding showed a statistically significant (p,=,0.001) seasonal variance between a winter (January,February) maximum of 1590 fmol/mg protein and a summer (July,August) minimum of 1216 fmol/mg protein for the control group, with an R2 of 70% for the annual sinusoidal curve fit. A statistically significant (p,=,0.007) seasonal variance was also observed between a winter (January,February) maximum of 1980 fmol/mg protein and an autumnal (August,September) minimum of 1234 fmol/mg protein for the violent offenders, again with an R2 of 70% for the annual sinusoidal curve fit. This observation lends additional support to the idea that violent human behavior and impulsivity may be directly linked to values of SERT Bmax, which can be affected by various psychoactive drugs and also varies with the natural change of seasons. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Social learning, sexual and physical abuse, and adult crime

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Issue 6 2009
Richard B. Felson
Abstract This research examines the relationship between childhood physical and sexual abuse and the types of crimes committed by male adult offenders. We use the method of discriminant prediction to determine whether independent and dependent variables are related in ways that theories predict. Our analyses of data from the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities suggest that offenders model specific behaviors to which they have been exposed. Male offenders who were sexually abused as a child are more likely to commit sexual offenses, particularly sexual offenses against children, than nonsexual offenses. Offenders who were physically abused are more likely to engage in violent offenses than nonviolent offenses. Further analyses show that sexual offenders, and to a lesser extent violent offenders, are likely to specialize in those offenses. Our results are consistent with a social learning approach. They address a heretofore neglected issue: what exactly do children model when they are mistreated. Aggr. Behav. 35:489,501, 2009. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Executive cognitive functioning and the recognition of facial expressions of emotion in incarcerated violent offenders, non-violent offenders, and controls

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Issue 5 2007
Peter N.S. Hoaken
Violence is a social problem that carries enormous costs; however, our understanding of its etiology is quite limited. A large body of research exists, which suggests a relationship between abnormalities of the frontal lobe and aggression; as a result, many researchers have implicated deficits in so-called "executive function" as an antecedent to aggressive behaviour. Another possibility is that violence may be related to problems interpreting facial expressions of emotion, a deficit associated with many forms of psychopathology, and an ability linked to the prefrontal cortex. The current study investigated performance on measures of executive function and on a facial-affect recognition task in 20 violent offenders, 20 non-violent offenders, and 20 controls. In support of our hypotheses, both offender groups performed significantly more poorly on measures of executive function relative to controls. In addition, violent offenders were significantly poorer on the facial-affect recognition task than either of the other two groups. Interestingly, scores on these measures were significantly correlated, with executive deficits associated with difficulties accurately interpreting facial affect. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of a broader understanding of violent behaviour. Aggr. Behav. 33:412,421, 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Criminal attitudes to violence: Development and preliminary validation of a scale for male prisoners

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Issue 6 2004
Devon L.L. Polaschek
Abstract Two studies report on the development and preliminary psychometric properties of a new scale measuring criminal attitudes to violence. In Study 1, the responses of a mixed sample of male prisoners were used to select 20 scale items from a larger pool. The final scale (the Criminal Attitudes to Violence Scale; CAVS) was designed so that it had a single-factor structure and was uncorrelated with a measure of social desirability bias. It demonstrated high internal reliability, and a strong relationship to a self-report measure of physical aggression. Significant differences were found in CAVS mean scores for various offence history comparisons, such as whether or not the offender was currently on sentence for a violent conviction. In the second study, most results from the first study were replicated with an independent sample of male prisoners. Further, compared to another scale measuring attitudes to aggression [the EXPAGG Instrumental subscale; Archer and Haigh, 1997b], the CAVS was a better predictor of general attitudes to crime. Mean CAVS scores were again significantly higher for current violent offenders than those on sentence for other types of offences. Lastly, the CAVS was moderately predictive of estimated risk of reconviction and re-imprisonment. Overall these results suggest that this scale measures the construct of attitudes to criminal violence, which partially overlaps two other constructs: attitudes to aggression and attitudes to crime. Aggr. Behav. 30:484,503, 2004. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Reduced right hemisphere activation in severely abused violent offenders during a working memory task: An fMRI study

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Issue 2 2001
Adrian Raine
Abstract This study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to address two important gaps in our knowledge of brain functioning and violence: (1) What are the brain correlates of adults in the community who have suffered severe physical abuse early in life and who go on to perpetrate serious violence in adulthood? (2) What characterizes those who experience severe physical abuse but who refrain from serious violence? Four groups of participants recruited from the community (controls, severe physical child abuse only, serious violence only, and severely abused, seriously violent offenders) underwent fMRI while performing a visual/verbal working memory task. Violent offenders who had suffered severe child abuse show reduced right hemisphere functioning, particularly in the right temporal cortex. Abused individuals who refrain from serious violence showed relatively lower left, but higher right, activation of the superior temporal gyrus. Abused individuals, irrespective of violence status, showed reduced cortical activation during the working memory task, especially in the left hemisphere. Brain deficits were independent of IQ, history of head injury, task performance, cognitive strategy, and mental activity during the control task. Findings constitute the first fMRI study of brain dysfunction in violent offenders, and indicate that initial right hemisphere dysfunction, when combined with the effects of severe early physical abuse, predisposes to serious violence but that relatively good right hemisphere functioning protects against violence in physically abused children. Aggr. Behav. 27:111,129, 2001. 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


A Broken System: The Persistent Patterns of Reversals of Death Sentences in the United States

JOURNAL OF EMPIRICAL LEGAL STUDIES, Issue 2 2004
Andrew Gelman
We collected data on the appeals process for all death sentences in U.S. states between 1973 and 1995. The reversal rate was high, with an estimated chance of at least two-thirds that any death sentence would be overturned by a state or federal appeals court. Multilevel regression models fit to the data by state and year indicate that high reversal rates are strongly associated with higher death-sentencing rates and lower rates of apprehending and imprisoning violent offenders. In light of our empirical findings, we discuss potential remedies including "streamlining" the appeals process and restricting the death penalty to the "worst of the worst" offenders. [source]


Study: The Lack of Significant Association of the Catechol- O -Methyl Transferase (COMT) Gene Polymorphism in Violent Offenders with Mental Retardation

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, Issue 1 2010
Aysun Baransel Isir M.D.
Abstract:, Little is known about criminality of cognitively impaired people and also there have been no reports on the relationship between catechol- O -methyl transferase (COMT) and committed Mental Retardation (MR) subjects. In the present study, the association between committed (violent offences) MR subjects and genetic variants of COMT were investigated by using polymerase chain reaction and based restriction fragment length polymorphism methods. During 6 years of follow-up, 36 violent offenders with mild MR were investigated. Thirty-six control volunteers were included in the study as a control group. H/L polymorphism of the COMT gene was investigated in these two groups. In conclusion, the COMT gene genotype distribution and allele frequency is not significantly different between the two groups (p > 0.05). This result suggests that the H/L polymorphism of the COMT gene does not show an association with the potential of "commits-violent offense" of Turkish subjects with mental retardation, compared with control group. [source]


MAOA Alters the Effects of Heavy Drinking and Childhood Physical Abuse on Risk for Severe Impulsive Acts of Violence Among Alcoholic Violent Offenders

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 5 2010
Roope Tikkanen
Background:, A polymorphism in the promoter region of the monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) has been shown to alter the effect of persistent drinking and childhood maltreatment on the risk for violent and antisocial behaviors. These findings indicate that MAOA could contribute to inter-individual differences in stress resiliency. Methods:, Recidivism in severe violent crimes was assessed after 8 years of nonincarcerated follow-up in a male sample of 174 impulsive Finnish alcoholic violent offenders, the majority of whom exhibited antisocial (ASPD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD) or both. We examined whether MAOA genotype alters the effects of heavy drinking and childhood physical abuse (CPA) on the risk for committing impulsive recidivistic violent crimes. Results:, Logistic regression analyses showed that both heavy drinking and CPA were significant independent predictors of recidivism in violent behavior (OR 5.2, p = 0.004 and OR 5.3, p = 0.003) among offenders having the high MAOA activity genotype (MAOA-H), but these predictors showed no effect among offenders carrying the low MAOA activity genotype (MAOA-L). Conclusion:, Carriers of the MAOA-H allele have a high risk to commit severe recidivistic impulsive violent crimes after exposure to heavy drinking and CPA. [source]


Revisiting the overcontrolled,undercontrolled typology of violent offenders

PERSONALITY AND MENTAL HEALTH, Issue 3 2010
Karen D'Silva
Background,In 1966, Megargee separated individuals with violent behaviour into those who either overcontrolled or undercontrolled their hostility and suggested that this typology might be helpful when considering their treatment. Method,We compared the criminological and psychopathological features of those with a single violent offence (SV) and with those who were repeatedly violent (RV). Results,Fifty-one violent personality disordered offenders detained in medium- or high- secure care were examined (19 in the SV group and 32 in the RV group). In comparison to the RV group, the SV group were less antisocial and psychopathic and showed greater anger and behavioural control. However, these differences appeared to be due to the undercontrolled nature of the RV group, rather than the overcontrolled nature of the SV group. Conclusion,There was little evidence to support an overcontrolled hostility pattern in the SV group in this sample. Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Violent crimes and their relationship to personality disorders,

PERSONALITY AND MENTAL HEALTH, Issue 2 2007
Michael H. Stone
Persons committing murder and other forms of violent crime are likely to exhibit a personality disorder (PD) of one type or another. Essentially any personality disorder can be associated with violent crime, with the possible exception of avoidant PD. This includes those described in DSM as well as other disorders such as sadistic PD and psychopathy. The latter two, along with antisocial and paranoid PDs, are the most common personality accompaniments of violent crime. Narcissistic traits (if not narcissistic PD (NPD) itself) are almost universal in this domain, since violent offenders usually place their own desires and urges far above those of other persons. While admixtures of traits from several disorders are common among violent offenders, certain ones are likely to be the main disorder: antisocial PD, Psychopathy, Sadistic PD, Paranoid PD and NPD. Instrumental (as opposed to impulsive) spousal murders are strongly associated with NPD. Men committing serial sexual homicide usually show psychopathy and sadistic PD; half these men also show schizoid PD. Mass murderers usually show strong paranoid traits. With a focus on murder, clinical examples drawn from the crime literature and from the author's personal interviews reflect 14 varieties of personality disorder. Animal torture before adulthood is an important predictor of future violent (including sadistic) crime. Whereas many antisocial persons are eventually capable of rehabilitation, this is rarely the case with psychopathic or sadistic persons. Suggestions for future research are offered. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


The Racial Components of "Race-Neutral" Crime Policy Attitudes

POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 1 2002
Mark Peffley
Past studies have found evidence of a connection between race and crime in the minds of many white Americans, but several gaps remain in our knowledge of this association. Here, a multimethod approach was used to examine more closely the racial component of whites' support for ostensibly race-neutral crime policies. Conventional correlational analysis showed that negative stereotypes of African Americans,specifically, the belief that blacks are violent and lazy,are an important source of support for punitive policies such as the death penalty and longer prison terms. A survey experiment further showed that negative evaluations of black prisoners are much more strongly tied to support for punitive policies than are negative evaluations of white prisoners. These findings suggest that when many whites think of punitive crime policies to deal with violent offenders, they are thinking of black offenders. [source]


Psychiatric Disorders in Property, Violent, and Versatile Offending Detained Male Adolescents

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ORTHOPSYCHIATRY, Issue 1 2009
Olivier Colins MEd
This study examines the past year prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders in detained male adolescents and the relation between psychiatric disorders and type of offending. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-IV) was administered in a sample (N = 245) of male detained adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. Based on lifetime official criminal history, participants were classified into property, violent, and versatile subgroups. High rates of psychiatric disorders were found in all groups. In addition, property offenders reported significantly higher rates of depression, disruptive behavior disorders, substance use disorders and comorbidity than violent and versatile offenders. Overall, versatile offenders did not differ from violent offenders, with the exception of more marijuana use disorder found in violent offenders. This study once more emphasizes that detained boys have substantial mental health needs, a finding that is generalizable across countries. In addition, the current study suggests that classifying detained juveniles by offense subgroups may carry clinical relevance. The long-term impact of these differences, and the possible effects of intervention, should be subject of further research. [source]


Cognitive-behavioural rehabilitation of high-risk violent offenders: Investigating treatment change with explicit and implicit measures of cognition

APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
Devon L. L. Polaschek
Important as it is both to risk of re-offending and to cognitive behavioural treatment, violent cognition is seldom measured in rehabilitation programmes, and even more rarely linked to measures of violence risk. Most often, researchers measure violent cognition by having offenders complete transparent self-report questionnaires. This approach may be flawed both by socially desirable responding and by theoretical speculation that stronger links exist between automatic rather than explicit, consciously deliberated cognition and violent behaviour. We measured violent cognition in several ways; collecting data with two self-report scales, along with two Implicit Association Tests (IATs) from men commencing and completing an intensive cognitive-behavioural rehabilitation programme for high-risk violent prisoners. We addressed the questions of whether these two forms of assessment,explicit and implicit,are related, and which is most strongly linked to estimates of violence, based on the Violence Risk Scale. Explicit and implicit tests were not related to each other, although both self-report scales, and one of the IATs elicited significantly more pro-social responses following treatment. Further, the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) scores were significantly correlated with dynamic risk both pre- and post-programme, while post-programme, scores on one of the two IATs was significantly correlated with dynamic and static risk, as measured pre- and post-programme. These findings suggest that implicit and explicit measures may be assessing different aspects of cognition, and only some are related to violence risk. Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]