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Title: The relationship of psychological and social risk factors to offending and desistance in a sample of male gang and group offenders
Author: Ashton, Sally-Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 5884
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2018
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Using data from the Pathways to Desistance Study the present thesis investigated the relationship of gang membership and offending style to offending frequency, and to psychological and social risk factors; testing a model to predict desistance. A sample of 1047 adjudicated males with a mean age of 16.07 (SD= 1.16) at the baseline interview, were investigated over ten subsequent waves of data, covering a seven-year period. For inclusion in the present research, participants had to either report gang membership or co-offending at the baseline interview. One way between groups analysis of variance were conducted. Analysis of the offending frequencies of current, prior and never gang members indicated that the only pattern of significant variance found was over the first five waves of aggressive offending between current gang members and those who had never been in a gang. There was a lack of offending frequency homogeneity for all groups and the findings were inconclusive for prior gang members. Current gang members reported using significantly more illegal substances than both other groups after the baseline. The research also found that current gang members scored significantly higher than both prior or never gang members for negative psychological and social traits and lower for protective risk factors. Prior gang members demonstrated significantly fewer criminogenic risks than current gang members; however, no strong patterns of significant variance were found between prior and never gang members. Analysis of offending styles indicated that the majority of gang members offended both alone and with others, whereas non-gang members followed a trajectory of co-offending to solo. A pattern of significant variance was found for higher total offending and illegal drug use for mixed style offenders when compared to solo and co-offenders, suggesting that mixed-style offending is a criminogenic risk. The research also found that mixed-style offenders have different psychological profiles compared to their single offending style counterparts. Although similar to the patterns of variance for current gang members, a key difference was that whereas gang members had significantly lower resistance to peer influence, mixed style offenders did not. A direct binary logistic regression was preformed from months 6 to 84 and indicated that when controlling for other variables, less exposure to violence, less illegal substance use, and lower levels of peer antisocial behaviour consistently contributed to a model of desistance. Higher levels of temperance contributed to the model for the first six waves, suggesting an age-dependent risk.
Supervisor: Ioannou, Maria ; Hammond, Laura ; Synnott, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; H Social Sciences (General)