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Title: Youth conceptualisations and attitudes towards anti-social behaviour
Author: Martin, Natalia Wentink
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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Through a series of studies, the ways in which youths conceptualise anti-social behaviour, and evaluate and modify their judgements about anti-social behaviours is examined. This research examines and proposes a model linking conceptualisations, attitudes, and behaviour which takes into account the manner in which attitudes can change according to the perceived target status of the victim. The proposed model contextualizes Heider's Balance theory (1958) in an intervention context in which target status and reconceptualisation playa central role. The first set of analyses examined the ways in which youths conceptualise anti-social behaviour the Multiple Sorting Task. Data was analysed using Multiple Scalogram Analysis (MSA). Conceptualisations were compared by age and offending history. The second set of analyses examines the structure of youth attitudes towards antisocial behaviour using a self-report questionnaire . It is argued that participant attitudes are a function of the target or victim relative to the offender; the notion of a target status resides within a socio-cultural framework of rights and duties in society (Moghaddam & Vuksanovic, 1990; Moghaddam, 2000). Smallest Space Analysis (SSA-1) revealed general themes of pro-social and anti-social behaviours and specific themes in relation to the anonymous and familiar target status relative to the offender The third set of analyses is based a 'before and after' study of a programme targeting fire-related anti-social behaviour. Smallest Space Analysis was used to examine the structural aspects of attitude change before and after the intervention. This analysis revealed the ways is which attitudes towards specific behaviours are conceptualised and re-conceptualised in relation to each other. The process of attitude change is discussed in relation to Heider's Balance Theory and discusses the role of a change in target status relative to the offender as a key feature ofattitude change. The implications of these findings for understanding-youth anti-social behaviour are discussed. Applications of these findings in relation to future programmes targeting anti-social behaviour are outlined, and future directions for research into youth conceptualisations, attitude, and attitude change are proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available