Who Do You Think Are? An Initial Investigation of Ego Identity Development and Criminogenic Thinking Among Incarcerated Offenders
Criminogenic thinking refers to patterns of specific cognitive events associated with criminal behavior that facilitate the development and maintenance of patterned criminal behavior. Relatively little is known about the specific processes involved in the development of criminogenic thinking. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine ego identity development and criminal associations as two possible predictors of criminogenic thinking.
Participants included 104 adult male state penitentiary inmates. Participants completed measures assessing ego identity status, criminogenic thinking, and the amount of time spent in the presence with other offers. Data were analyzed with a series of hierarchical regressions.
Results indicated that active engagement in the psychosocial process of identity development is associated with decreased criminogenic thinking. However, interaction with criminal associates and incarceration prior to the age of 18 were significant predictors of criminogenic thinking, regardless of identity development style. Implications for correctional mental health and offender rehabilitation are discussed.
As this is the first study of its’ kind and limitations are to be expected, there are several potential implications for correctional mental health and offender rehabilitation that are discussed.
Gavel, David W. and Mandracchia, Jon T., "Who Do You Think Are? An Initial Investigation of Ego Identity Development and Criminogenic Thinking Among Incarcerated Offenders" (2016). Student Publications. 53.