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Durham e-Theses
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Personality and attitude changes associated with long-term imprisonment

Heskin, K. J. (1974) Personality and attitude changes associated with long-term imprisonment. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Very little is known about the psychological effects of imprisonment in general, and long-term imprisonment in particular. Most of our knowledge about imprisonment and its effects is derived from American sociological research, such as the classic study by Clemmer (1940), Psychologists seem to have avoided the problem and what data exists bears on the topic only tangentially. This study is an attempt to begin the process of bringing a particularly psychological point of view to bear on the issue. The study is essentially a two-fold psychometric examination of the question of the effects of long-term imprisonment on personality (as measured by the Sysenck Personality Inventory, the Gough Femininity Scale, the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire) and attitudes (as measured by the Semantic Differential). First, a cross-sectional analysis is outlined which yields data on the differences between groups of men in prison who have served differing mean lengths of total imprisonment during their careers. Second, a longitudinal analysis is presented which illustrates the changes which took place over the relatively short test-retest interval of 19 months, A factor- analytical study of the cross-sectional data and more detailed longitudinal analyoes of identifiable psychometric groups are also presented. Finally, an attempt is made to integrate the results into a coherent picture and suggestions are proffered which, it is hoped, may be of use both to future researchers and to the custodians of long-term prisoners.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1974
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 17:08

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