Criminal thinking styles of minors. Social and personality correlates
More details
Hide details
Submission date: 2014-09-17
Acceptance date: 2014-11-20
Online publication date: 2014-12-08
Publication date: 2014-12-08
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2014;2(4):237–250
This paper presents an attempt to determine the predictors of criminal thinking styles of minors, based on the theory of Glenn Walters. The construct which is the subject of this study, that is, criminal thinking, is treated as a factor that initiates and supports anti-social behaviour. It manifests itself in eight thinking styles (patterns): mollification, cut-off, entitlement, sentimentality, power orientation, cognitive indolence, discontinuity, and superoptimism.

Participants and procedure
The study involved 114 people: 65 boys and 49 girls. The research group consisted of minors – boys and girls who were referred, by order of the court, to Diagnostic and Consultation Family Centres to receive a psychological opinion, the purpose of which was to determine the degree of demoralisation of the minor. The study was also attended by the guardians of minors. A criterion for including a minor in this study was committing an offence.

For each criminal thinking style, a forward stepwise regression analysis was conducted. Variables describing minors and mothers were included in the regression model. The aim of this approach is to identify the configuration of predictors of criminal thinking styles. In each of the models the coefficient of determination, R2, and  coefficients were calculated.

The predictors of criminal thinking styles identified by the regression analysis show the complexity and heterogeneity of factors contributing to the emergence of these cognitive distortions. Predictors include both properties conditioning the psychosocial functioning of mothers and factors determining the personality of a minor (sense of control, low empathy, low self-esteem). There is a noticeable influence of factors attributable to the mothers – variables derived from the environment (demanding, rejecting, inconsistent attitude).
Ainsworth, M. S. (1979). Infant-mother attachment. American Psychologist, 34, 932-937.
Ambert, A. M. (1997). Parents, Children, and Adolescent: Interactive Relationship and Development in Context. New York: The Haworth Press.
Appleyard, K., Egeland, B., van Dulmen, M. H. M., & Sroufe, L. A. (2005). When more is not better: The role of cumulative risk in child behavior outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 235-245.
Aunola, K., Stattin, H., & Nurmi, J. E. (2000). Adolescents’ achievement strategies, school adjustment, and externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29, 289-306.
Barber, B. K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67, 3296-3319.
Barber, B. K., Olsen, J. E., & Shagel, S. C. (1994). Associations between Parental Psychological and Behavioral Control and Youth Internalized and Externalized Behaviors. Child Development, 65, 1120-1136.
Barriga, A. Q., Hawkins, M. A., & Camelia, C. R. T. (2008). Specificity of cognitive distortions to antisocial behaviours. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 18, 104-116.
Błachut, J., Gaberle, A., & Krajewski, K. (2006). Kryminologia [Criminology]. Gdańsk: Arche.
Baldwin, M. W. (1992). Relational schemas and the processing of social information. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 461-484.
Borecka-Biernat, D. (1992). Styl wychowania w rodzinie a agresywne zachowanie dzieci [Upbringing styles in the family vs aggressive children behaviour]. Acta Uniwersitatis Wratislaviensis, No 1215. Prace Psychologiczne, XXVI, 125-141.
Borecka-Biernat, D. (2001). Rodzinne predykatory agresji fizycznej młodzieży w sytuacjach społecznie trudnych [Family predictors youth physical aggression in socially difficult situations. Deviations among youth. Conditioning and prevention]. In: B. Urban (ed.), Dewiacje wśród młodzieży. Uwarunkowania i profilaktyka [Deviations among youth. Conditioning and prevention]. Kraków: PWN.
Borecka-Biernat, D. (2005). Percepcja postaw rodzicielskich a emocjonalno-obronne strategie radzenia sobie młodzieży w sytuacji trudnej [Parental attitude perception vs. emotional-defending strategies in youth coping with difficult situation]. In: T. Sołtysiak (ed.), Zagrożenia w wychowaniu I socjalizacji młodzieży oraz możliwości ich przezwyciężenia [Risks in the upbringing and socialization of youths and the possibility of them overcoming]. Bydgoszcz: PWN.
Bowlby, J. (2007). Przywiązanie [Attachment]. Warszawa: PWN.
Brzozowski, P. (1989). Skala wartości (SW). Polska adaptacja Value Survey M. Rokeacha [Value Survey. Polish adaptation]. Warszawa: PTP.
Brzozowski, P. (1996). Skala Wartości (SW). Polska adaptacja Value Survey M. Rokeacha. Podręcznik [Value Survey. Polish adaptation]. Warszawa: PTP.
Capaldi, D. M., Pears, K. C., Patterson, G. R.,.
& Owen, L. D. (2003). Continuity of parenting practices across generations in an at-risk sample: a prospective comparison of direct and mediated associations. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31, 127-142.
Capaldi, D. M., Pears, K. C., Kerr, D. R., & Owen, L. D. (2008). Intergenerational and partner influence on fatheres’ negative discipline. Journal Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 347-358.
Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1989). Children’s perceptions of peer entry and conflict situations: social strategies, goals, and outcome expectations. In: B. Schneider, J. Nadel, G. Attili, & R. Weissberg (eds.), Social competence in developmental perspective. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1994). A review and reformulation of social information-processing mechanisms in children’s social adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 74-101.
Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1996). Social information-processing mechanisms on reactive and proactive aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 67, 993-1002.
Crittenden, P. M. (2002). Attachment, information processing, and psychiatric disorder. World Psychiatry, 1, 72-75.
Crittenden, P. M. (2006). A Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment. Australien & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 27, 105-115.
Darling, N., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 487-496.
Davis, M. H. (1999). Empatia. O umiejętności współodczuwania [Empathy. On compassion ability]. Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.
Deater-Deckard, K., & Dodge, K. A. (1997). Externalising behavior problems and discipline revisited: nonlinear effects and variation by culture, context and gender. Psychological Inquiry, 8, 161-175.
Deater-Deckard, K. (2005). Parenting stress and children’s development: introduction to the special issue. Infant and Child Development, 14, 111-115.
Dodge, K. A. (1991). The structure and function of reactive and reactive aggression. In: D. J. Pepler, & K. H. Rubin (eds.), The development and treatment of childhood aggression (pp. 201-218). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Dodge, K. A., & Tomlin, A. M. (1987). Utilization of self-schemas as a mechanism of interpersonal bias in aggressive children. Social Cognition, 5, 280-300.
Dodge, K. A., & Somberg, D. R. (1987). Hostile attributional biases among aggressive boys are exacerbated under conditions of threats to the self. Child Development, 58, 213-224.
Dodge, K. A., & Coie, J. D. (1987). Social-information-processing factors in reactive and proactive aggression in children’s peer groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 1146-1158.
Dodge, K., Price, J., Bachorowski, J., & Newman, J. (1990). Hostile Attributional Biases in Severely Aggressive Adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 385-392.
Dodge, K. A. (2002). Mediation, moderation, and mechanisms in how parenting affects children’s aggressive behavior. In: J. G. Borkowski, S. L. Ramey, & M. Bristol-Power (eds.), Parenting and the child’s world: Influences on academic, intellectual, and social-emotional development (pp. 215-229). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Farrington, D. P. (1994). Childhood, adolescent, and adult features of violent males. In: L. R. Huesmann (ed.), Aggressive Behavior: Current Perspectives. New York: Plenum.
Farrington, D. P. (1995). The development of offending and antisocial behavior from childhood: Key findings from the Cambridge study in delinquent development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36, 929-964.
Farrington, D. P., Coid, J., & Murray, J. (2009). Family factors in the intergenerational transmission of offending. Criminal Behavior and Mental Health, 19, 109-124.
Ferguson, G. A., & Takane, Y. (2003). Analiza statystyczna w psychologii i pedagogice [Statistical analysis in psychology and pedagogics]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
Fitts, W. H. (1975). Podręcznik do skali badania obrazu własnej osoby (skala samooceny) [Handbook for self-esteem scale]. Warszawa.
Gasiul, H. (2001). W poszukiwaniu podstaw rozwoju ja emocjonalnego (In search of basis of emotional development). Warszawa: Wyd. Akademickie Żak.
Goodman, S. (2002). The Parental Discipline-Child Behavior Problems Puzzle: Some New Pieces.
Gorman-Smith, D., & Tolan, P. H (1998). The role of exposure to community violence and developmental problems among inner-city youth. Development & Psychopathology, 10, 101-116.
Gorman-Smith, D., Tolan, P. H., Loeber, R., & Henry, D. (1998). The relation of family problems to patterns of delinquent involvement among urban youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26, 319-333.
Hart, C. H., De Wolf, M. D., Wozniak, P., & Burts, D. C. (1992). Maternal and Paternal Disciplinary Styles: Relations with Preschoolers’ Playground Behavioral Orientations and Peer Status. Child Development, 63, 879-892.
Hart, C. H., Olsen, S. F., Robinson, C. C., & Mandleco, B. L. (1997). The development of social and communicative competence in childhood: Review and a model of personal, familial, extrafamilial processes. Communication Yearbook, Vol. 20. New York: Sage Publications.
Hersch, P. D., & Scheibe, K. E. (1967). Reliability and validity of internal-external control as personality dimensions. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31, 609-613.
Hoffman, M. L. (2000). Empathy and moral development: Implications for caring and justice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Holman, J. E., & Quinn, J. F. (1992). Criminology: Applying theory. ST. Paul: West Publishing Company.
Huesmann, L. R. (2005). Mechanisms and theories of cross-generational transmission of aggression. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 65, 236.
Jakubik, A. (1997). Zaburzenia osobowości [Personality disorders]. Warszawa: PZWL.
Krasowicz, G., & Kurzyp-Wojnarska, A. (1990). Kwestionariusz do badania poczucia kontroli (KBPK) [Questionnaire for sense of control]. Warszawa: Polskie Towarzystwo Psychologiczne.
Kubacka-Jasiecka, D. (2006). Agresja i autodestrukcja z perspektywy obronno-adaptacyjnych dążeń JA [Aggression and autodestruction from defensive-adaptative pursuance perspective]. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.
Lewis, M., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1981). Infant social perception: Responses to pictures of parents and strangers. Developmental Psychology, 17, 647-649.
Loeber, R., & Farrington, D. P. (1998). Serious and violent juvenile offenders: Risk factors and successful interventions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Magnuson, K., & Waldfogel, J. (2005). Early childhood care and education, and ethnic and racial test score gaps at school entry. The Future of Children, 15, 169-196.
Maruna, S., & Mann, R. (2006). A fundamental attribution error? Rethinking cognitive distortions. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 11, 155-177.
McClun, L. A., & Merrell, K. W. (1998). Relationship of perceived parenting styles, locus of control orientation, and self-concept among junior high age students. Psychology in the Schools, 35, 381-390.
Midgley, C., Arunkumar, R., & Urdan, T. (1996). “If I don’t do well tomorrow, there’s a reason”: Predictors of adolescents’ use of academic self-handicapping strategies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 423-434.
Milner, J. S. (2003). Social information processing in high-risk and physically abusive parents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 7-20.
Mize, J., & Pettit, G. S. (1997). Mothers’ social coaching, mother – child relationship style, and children’s peern competence: Is the medium the message? Child Development, 68, 312-332.
Obuchowski, K. (1970). Kody orientacji i struktura procesów emocjonalnych [Orientation codes and structure of emotional processes]. Warszawa: PWN.
Patterson, G. R. (1992). Developmental changes in antisocial behavior. In: R. D. Peters, R. J. McMahon, V. L. Quinsey (eds.), Aggression and violence throughout the life span (pp. 52-82). Newbury Park, Ca: Sage.
Plopa, M. (2008). Skala Postaw Rodzicielskich. Wersja dla rodziców [Parental Attitude Scale. Version for parents]. Warszawa: WSFiZ Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych.
Rode, M., & Rode, D. (2011). Criminal Thinking Styles of Juvenile Delinquents. Problems of Forensic Science, 84, 356-379.
Rode, M. (2013). Style myślenia przestępczego. Podstawy teoretyczne i diagnostyczne [Criminal thinking styles. Theoretical and diagnostic basis]. Warszawa: Difin.
Roese, N. J., & Olson, J. M. (2007). Better, Stronger, Faster. Self-Serving Judgment, Affect Regulation, and the Optimal Vigilance Hypothesis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2, 124-141.
Siemaszko, A. (1993). Granice tolerancji. O teoriach zachowań dewiacyjnych [Tolerance borders. On deviated behaviours thories]. Warszawa: PWN.
Stanik, J. M. (1980). Asocjalność nieletnich przestępców jako przedmiot psychologicznej diagnozy klinicznej [Juvenile delinquency asociality as an subject of clinical psychology diagnosis]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Prawnicze.
Steuden, S. (1997). Dynamika zmian osobowości u osób z rozpoznaną schizofrenią [Dynamics of personality changes in persons with diagnosed schizophrenia]. Lublin: KUL.
Urban, B. (2000). Zaburzenia w zachowaniu i przestępczość młodzieży [Conduct disorder and juvenile delinquency]. Kraków: KUL.
Vermeiren, R., Bogaerts, J., Ruchkin, V., Deboutte, D., & Schwab-Stone, M. (2004). Subtypes of self-esteem and self-concept in adolescent violent and property offenders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 405-411.
Walters, G. D. (1990). The Criminal Lifestyle. Patterns of Serious Criminal Conduct. Newbury Park – London – New Delhi: Sage Publications.
Walters, G. D. (1995a). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Part I: Reliability and Preliminary Validity. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 22, 307-325.
Walters, G. D. (1995b). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Part II: Identifying Simulated Response Sets. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 22, 437-445.
Walters, G. D., & White, T. W. (1989). The thinking criminal: A cognitive model of lifestyle criminality. Criminal Justice Research Bulletin, 4, 1-10.
Walters, G. D. (1996). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Part III. Predictive Validity. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 40, 105-112.
Walters, G. D. (1998). The Lifestyle Criminality Screening Form: Psychometric properties and practical utility. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 27, 9-23.
Walters, G. D. (2002). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS): A Review and Meta-Analysis. Assessment, 9, 278-291.
Walters, G. D. (2006a). Appraising, researching and conceptualizing criminal thinking: a personal view. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 16, 87-99.
Walters, G. D. (2006b). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) professional manual. Allentown, PA: Center for Lifestyle Studies.
Walters, G. D. (2006c). Lifestyle Theory: Past, Present and Future. New York: Nova Science Publisher.
Walters, G. D. (2007). The Latent Structure of the Criminal Lifestyle: A Taxometric Analysis of the Lifestyle Criminality Screening Form and Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34, 1623-1637.
Yochelson, S., & Samenow, S. (1976, 1977). The Criminal Personality (Vol. I, II, III). NY: J. Aronson.