Latent classes of criminal intent associated with criminal behaviour
More details
Hide details
Submission date: 2014-04-07
Acceptance date: 2014-11-07
Online publication date: 2014-07-31
Publication date: 2014-07-31
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2014;2(2):92-102
This study aimed to examine the number of latent classes of criminal intent that exist among prisoners and to look at the associations with recidivism, number of police arrests, type of offending (robbery, violent offences, murder, and multiple offences), and age.

Participants and procedure
Latent class analysis was used to identify homogeneous subgroups of prisoners based on their responses to the 10 questions reflecting criminal intent. Participants were 309 male recidivistic prisoners incarcerated in a maximum security prison. Multinomial logistic regression was used to interpret the nature of the latent classes, or groups, by estimating the association between recidivism and latent classes of criminal intent while controlling for offence type (robbery, violent offences, murder, and multiple offences), number of arrests, and age.

The best fitting latent class model was a three-class solution: ‘High criminal intent’ (49.3%), ‘Intermediate criminal intent’ (41.3%), and ‘Low criminal intent’ (9.4%). The latent classes were differentially related to the external variables (recidivism, violent offences, and age).

Criminal intent is best explained by three homogeneous classes that appear to represent an underlying continuum. Future work is needed to identify whether these distinct classes of criminal intent may predict engagement in various types of criminal behaviour.
Ajzen, I. (1988). Attitudes, personality, and behaviour. Milton-Keynes, England: Open University Press.
Ajzen, I. & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Akers, R. (1985). Deviant Behaviour: A Social Learning Approach. Belmont: Wadsworth.
Andrews, K.H. & Kandel, D.B. (1979). Attitude and behavior: A specification of the contingent consistency hypothesis. American Sociological Review, 44: 298-310.
Andrews, D.A., Zinger, I., Hoge, R.D., Bonta, J., Gendreau, P. & Cullen, F.T. (1990). Does Correctional Treatment Work? A Clinically Relevant and Psychologically Informed Meta‐Analysis. Criminology, 28, 369-404. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1990.tb01330.x.
Bagozzi, R.P. & Burnkrant, R.E. (1979). Attitude organization and the attitude-behavior relationship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 913. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.37.6.913.
Boduszek, D., Adamson, G., Shevlin, M. & Hyland, P. (2013). Psycho-sociological investigation of criminal behaviour within a prison sample using retrospective data. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice (accepted for publication) (ISSN 1468-2311).
Boduszek, D. & Hyland, P. (2012). Psycho-Sociological Review of Criminal Thinking. Journal of Humanistics and Social Sciences, 1, 28-36.
Boduszek, D., Hyland, P., Shevlin, M. & Adamson, G. (2013). Assessment of Psycho-Social Factors Predicting Recidivistic Violent Offences within a Sample of Male Prisoners. Irish Journal of Psychology (in press). doi: 10.1080/03033910.2012.754324.
Boduszek, D., McLaughlin, C. & Hyland, P. (2011). Criminal Attitudes of Ex-Prisoners: the Role of Personality, Anti-Social Friends and Recidivism. The Internet Journal of Criminology, 9, 1-10.
Bourke, A., Boduszek, D. & Hyland, P. (2013). The role of criminal cognitions and personality traits in non-violent recidivism: Empirical investigation within a prison sample. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 3, 40-48. doi: 10.1108/20420921211236771.
Caprara, G.V., Cinanni, V. & Mazzotti, E. (1989). Measuring attitudes toward violence. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 479-481. doi: 10.1016/ 0191-8869(89)90014-7.
Dembo, R., Turner, C.W. & Jainchill, N. (2007). Criminal thinking among incarcerated youths in three states. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 34, 1157-1168. doi: 10.1177/0093854807304348.
Dhingra, K. & Boduszek, D. (2013). Psychopathy and Criminal Behaviour: A Psychosocial Research Perspective. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 3, 1-25.
Engels, R.C., Luijpers, E., Landsheer, J. & Meeus, W. (2004). A longitudinal study of relations between attitudes and delinquent behavior in adolescents. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 31, 244-260. doi: 10.1177/0093854803261344.
Farrington, D.P., Auty, K.M., Coid, J.W. & Turner, R.E. (2013). Self-Reported and Official Offending from Age 10 to Age 56. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 1-17. doi: 10.1007/s10610-012-9195-x.
Gendreau, P., Goggin, C.E. & Law, M.A. (1997). Predicting prison misconducts. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 24, 414-431. doi: 10.1177/009385489702400 4002.
Gendreau, P., Little, T. & Goggin, C. (1996). A meta- analysis of the predictors of adult offender recidivism: What works! Criminology, 34, 575-607. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1996.tb01220.x.
Hanson, R.K. & Harris, A.J. (2000). Where should we intervene? Dynamic predictors of sexual offense recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27, 6-35. doi: 10.1177/0093854800027001002.
Hanson, R.K. & Thornton, D. (1999). Static 99: Improving actuarial risk assessments for sex offenders (Vol. 2). Solicitor General Canada.
Hatch-Maillette, M.A., Scalora, M.J., Huss, M.T. & Baumgartner, J.V. (2001). Criminal thinking patterns: Are child molesters unique? International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 45, 102-117. doi: 10.1177/0306624X 01451007.
Holsinger, A.M. (1999). Assessing criminal thinking: Attitudes and orientations influence behavior. Corrections Today, 61, 22-25.
Jackson, D.N. (1989). Basic Personality Inventory Manual. London, Canada: Sigma Assessment Systems.
Kroner, D.G., Holden, R.R. & Reddon, J.R. (1997). Validity of the Basic Personality Inventory in a correctional setting. Assessment, 4, 141-154. doi: 10. 1177/107319119700400204.
Kroner, D.G. & Mills, J.F. (1998). The structure of antisocial attitudes among violent and sexual offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 42, 246-257. Lochner, L. (2004). Education, work, and crime: A human capital approach. International Economic Review, 45, 811-843. doi: 10.1111/j.0020-6598. 2004.00288.x.
Losel, F. (2003). The development of delinquent behaviour. In: D. Carson & R. Bull (eds.). Handbook of Psychology in Legal Context (2nd ed.). England: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Mandracchia, J.T. & Morgan, R.D. (2012). Predicting offenders’ criminogenic cognitions with status variables. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39, 5-25. doi: 10.1177/0093854811425453.
Mandracchia, J.T. & Morgan, R.D. (2010). The relationship between status variables and criminal thinking in an offender population. Psychological Services, 7, 27. doi: 10.1037/a0016194.
Maxfield, M.G., Weiler, B.L. & Widom, C.S. (2000). Comparing self-reports and official records of arrests. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 16, 87-110. doi: 10.1023/A:1007577512038.
Maruna, S. & Copes, H. (2005). What have we learned from five decades of neutralization research? Crime and Justice, 32, 221-320.
Mills, J.F., Anderson, D. & Kroner, D.G. (2004). The antisocial attitudes and associates of sex offenders. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 14, 134-145. doi: 10.1002/cbm.578.
Mills, J.F. & Kroner, D.G. (1999). Measures of Criminal Attitudes and Associates (MCAA). Unpublished instrument and user guide.
Mills, J.F. & Kroner, D.G. (2001). Measures of Criminal Attitudes and Associates (MCAA). Unpublished instrument and user guide.
Mills, J.F., Kroner, D.G. & Forth, A.E. (2002). Measures of Criminal Attitudes and Associates (MCAA) Development, Factor Structure, Reliability, and Validity. Assessment, 9, 240-253. doi: 10.1177/ 1073191102009003003.
Mills, J.F., Kroner, D.G. & Hemmati, T. (2004). The Measures of Criminal Attitudes and Associates (MCAA) The Prediction of General and Violent Recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 31, 717-733. doi: 10.1177/0093854804268755.
Mills, J.F., Kroner, D.G. & Weekes, J.R. (1998). Anger and institutional misconduct in a sample of violent offenders. Unpublished manuscript.
Myers, S. (1983). Estimating the economic model of crime: employment versus punishment effects. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 98, 157-166. doi: 10.2307/1885572.
Palmer, W. (1997). A new scheme for predicting recidivism. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Palmer, E.J. & Hollin, C.R. (2004). Predicting reconviction using the psychological inventory of criminal thinking styles with English prisoners. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 9, 57-68. doi: 10.1348/135532504322776852.
Polaschek, D.L.L., Collie, R.M. & Walkey, F.H. (2004). Criminal attitudes to violence: Development and preliminary validation of a scale for male prisoners. Aggressive Behavior, 30, 484-503. doi: 10.1002/ab.20081.
Quinsey, V.L., Harris, G.T., Rice, M.E. & Cormier, C.A. (1998). Violent offenders: Appraising and managing risk. Washington DC.
Ragatz, L.L., Fremouw, W. & Baker, E. (2012). The Psychological Profile of White-collar Offenders Demographics, Criminal Thinking, Psychopathic Traits, and Psychopathology. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39, 978-997. doi: 10.1177/0093854812437846.
Rhodes, M.L. (1979). The impact of social anchorage on prisonization. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40, 1694A (UMI No. 79-19, 101).
Simourd, D.J., Hoge, R.D., Andrews, D.A., & Leschied, A.W. (1994). An empirically-based typology of male young offenders. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 36, 447-461.
Simourd, D.J. & Olver, M.E. (2002). The future of criminal attitudes research and practice. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 29, 427-446.
Simourd, D.J. & Van De Ven, J. (1999). Assessment of Criminal Attitudes Criterion-Related Validity of the Criminal Sentiments Scale-Modified and Pride in Delinquency Scale. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 26, 90-106. doi: 10.1177/00938548990260 01005.
Sutherland, E.H. & Cressey, D.R. (1960). Principles of Criminology (6th ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Sykes, G.M. & Matza, D. (1957). Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 22, 664-670.
Trading Economics (2013). Poland unemployment rate. Retrieved 31st July. Online available at:
Walters, G.D., Elliott, W.N. & Miscoll, D. (1998). Use of the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles in a group of female offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 25, 125-134. doi: 10.1177/ 0093854898025001008.
Walters, G.D., Frederick, A.A. & Schlauch, C. (2007). Postdicting arrests for proactive and reactive aggression with the PICTS Proactive and Reactive composite scales. Journal of interpersonal violence, 22, 1415-1430.
Walters, G.D. & Geyer, M.D. (2004). Criminal thinking and identity in male white-collar offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 31, 263-281. doi: 10.1177/ 0093854803262508.
Walters, G.D. (2009). Anger management training in incarcerated male offenders: Differential impact on proactive and reactive criminal thinking. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 8, 214-217.
Walters, G.D. (1990). The criminal lifestyle: Patterns of serious criminal conduct. Sage.
Walters, G.D. (1995a). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Part I. Reliability and preliminary validity. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 22, 307-325. doi: 10.1177/0093854895022003008.
Walters, G.D. (1995b). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles. Part II: Identifying simulated response sets. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 22, 437-445. doi: 10.1177/0093854895022004007.
Walters, G.D. (2002). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS): A review and meta-analysis. Assessment, 9, 283-296. doi: 10.1177/ 1073191102009003007.
Walters, G.D. (2003). Changes in criminal thinking and identity in novice and experienced inmates: Prisonization revisited. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 30, 399-421. doi: 10.1177/0093854803253137.
Walters, G.D. (2006). Appraising, researching and conceptualizing criminal thinking: a personal view. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 16: 87-99. doi: 10.1002/cbm.50.
Walters, G.D. & Elliott, W.N. (1999). Predicting release and disciplinary outcome with the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles: Female data. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 4, 15-21. doi: 00.1348/135532599167743.
Walters, G.D. & Schlauch, C. (2008). The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles and Level of Service Inventory-Revised: Screening Version as predictors of official and self-reported disciplinary infractions. Law and Human Behavior, 32, 454-462. doi: 10.1007/s10979-007-9117-5.
Walters, G.D. & White, T.W. (1989). The thinking criminal: A cognitive model of lifestyle criminality. Criminal Justice Research Bulletin, 4, 1-10.
Wilson, S., Attrill, G. & Nugent, F. (2003). Effective interventions for acquisitive offenders: An investigation of cognitive skills programmes. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 8, 83-101. doi: 10.1348/ 135532503762871264.
Yochelson, S. & Samenow, S.E. (1976). The Criminal Personality. Vol. 1. A Profile for Change. New York: Jason Aronson.
Copyright: © Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk This is an Open Access journal, all articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top