Self-control is well established as a major contributor to criminality, and a lack of social connectivity has more recently been empirically supported as a factor in the etiology of criminal behavior. The effects of self-control on the ability to make social connections, and the effects of social connectivity on the development and maintenance of self-control have also become a focus as major influences on desistance from crime. Participants were 66 male and 29 female pre- and post-incarceration individuals ranging in age from 18 to 69 years. This study investigated: (1a) the relationship between social connection and recidivism; (1b) the mediation by post-release self-control on the relationship between social connection and recidivism; (2a) the relationship between post-release self-control and recidivism; (2b) the mediation by social connection on the relationship between post-release self-control and recidivism; (3a) the relationship between pre-release self-control and recidivism; (3b) the mediation by social connection on the relationship between pre-release self-control and recidivism. Self-control was measured via a self report scale (Tangney, Baumeister & Boone, 2004) both before release and twelve months after release, and social connectivity occurring across the twelve month self-release period was assessed from self-reports of marital status, employment, and educational and religious service involvement. Recidivism occurring across the twelve month self-release period was measured using self-reports of types of detected and undetected crimes committed and converted into a measure indicating number of types of crimes committed, per the versatility/variety hypothesis (Loeber, 1982). Results provided little support for the hypotheses. Both pre- and post-release self-control related significantly to recidivism, without mediation by social connection. Post-release self-control also related significantly to social connection. No significant direct link between social connection and recidivism was observed, though an indirect link was made via post-release self-control. A short period follow-up period between our assessments (one year), particularly in combination with our adult offender sample, was a limitation. Our purely objective measure of social connection was also a limitation. Our results indicate that both pre- and post-release self-control serve as reliable indicators of recidivism risk, and that social connections may increase self-control between release from prison and one-year post-release. Regarding policy implications, these results underscore the importance of building and maintaining self-control in individuals preparing for release from incarceration or in the post-incarceration environment. Further research with a longer follow-up period and subjective indices of social connection are important.
|Adviser||June P. Tangney|
|School||GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY|
|Subjects||Mental health; Clinical psychology; Criminology|
About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.
PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.