Exploring the Relationship Between Childhood Adversity, Self-Worth, and Criminal Identification in a Mixed Gender Sample of Adolescent Offenders

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Thapa, Shreena




Research regarding the impact that childhood adversity and criminal identification has on self-worth, and how that relationship may ultimately lead to criminal activity differently in female youth versus male youth is scarce (Bonta & Andrews, 2017; Van Voorhis, 2012). This study examined if childhood adversity influences self-worth, which in turn leads to recidivism and higher levels of self-reported aggression and whether self-worth strengthens or weakens the relationship between criminal identification and recidivism. Archival data involving 312 justice involved youths found that self-worth did not mediate the relationship between childhood adversity and externalizing behaviour. However, an interesting three-way interaction emerged between gender, self-worth and criminal attitudes. Specifically, while self-worth buffered the relationship between criminal attitudes and recidivism among females, self-worth magnified the relationship between criminal attitudes and recidivism among males.


Psychology - Behavioral




Carleton University

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