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Title: Internalization of norms and their regularization in the Swedish penal code : a reperatory grid study of cognitive and affective reactions in men sentenced to imprisonment for sexual crimes
Author: Sjöström, Pontus
ISNI:       0000 0001 3416 479X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is concerned with the Internalization of Norms and their Regularization in the Swedish Penal Code - A Repertory Grid Study of Cognitive and Affective Reactions in Men Sentenced to Imprisonment for Sexual Crimes. The research, taking on a phenomenological approach, is an indepth study which set out to explore the thinking of sexual offenders. A constructivist perspective on thinking underpins the research. Constructs are seen as the means that enable the individual to anticipate future events and make the person act in accordance with a societal norm system. George Kelly's Personal Construct Theory provided useful tools to find channels to the thoughts that may explain the offenders' criminal behaviour. The method, focusing on the participants' construing of their reality and not on the crimes committed, made these men talk. The constructs produced were elicited from the element set of important people in their lives. Failing norms may be regarded as wrongly internalized constructions that the offenders have built on previous experiences. There are indications in the results that disturbed behaviour and a lack of norms are linked to childhood neglect and a malfunctioning relationship to the mother. The findings also indicate that deviant behaviour may be due to deficiencies in the capacity for thinking. The situation and the problems of these perpetrators are known but the psychological treatment currently provided by the Swedish Prison and Probation Administration is insufficient. A constructivist treatment program, in order to change thoughts and attitudes of offenders, could form part of a rehabilitation treatment. In addition, focusing on the importance of early internalization of societal norms and on the implications of different forms of neglect in childhood may help to prevent crimes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available