Date of Award

Summer 7-7-2023

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Psychology

Committee Chair

Melanie Leuty, Ph.D.

Committee Chair School

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Ashley Batastini, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 School

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Craig Warlick, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 School

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Eric Dahlen, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4 School

Psychology

Abstract

Individuals with a prior criminal history experience many barriers in the reintegration process, including their ability to gain stable employment. Finding employment for this population is especially important in reducing potential of recidivism. However, research has demonstrated that returning residents experience negative attitudes from employers which are exacerbated by pre-existing stereotypes. Because returning residents are often stereotyped, research suggests that the fear of finding employment is confounded by how they disclose their criminal history to hiring managers. Further, previous research suggests that hiring decisions are impacted by not only offender status, but also by their offense type and race. Although previous research demonstrates that hiring decisions are impacted by the type of disclosure, offense type, and race, it remains unclear how these factors interact together. Therefore, using a mock application, visual stimuli, and interview notes of a hypothetical applicant, this study aimed to address this gap in the literature by examining whether hiring decisions are influenced by the type of disclosure, offense type, and race. This study utilized a between-subjects design using a sample of 223 MTurk participants. Main effects and interactions were examined using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Overall, it was found that while race and the type of offense may not influence hiring decisions, the way a person discloses their crime did affect perceptions of employability. Specifically, disclosing a criminal history during the interview increased a hiring manager’s willingness to hire the applicant compared to the applicants who did not disclose their criminal history. Ultimately, this study may inform correctional policies aimed at expanding job preparation within correctional agencies, as well as suggest the need for advocacy efforts to improve employer perceptions of returning residents.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 2025

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