Gudjohnsson and Bownes

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  • Gudjohnsson and Bownes
    • Aim:
      • To examine the relationship between the TYPE of offence and the attributions offenders make about their criminal act and cross-validate earlier findings on an English sample.
    • Methodology:
      • To use the Gudjohnsson and Singh 42 item Blame attribution inventory to measure the offender's type of offence and attribution of BLAME on three dimensions.
      • Attribution of blame: INTERNAL/EXTERNAL mental element and GUILT.
    • Participants:
      • 80 criminals who were serving sentences in Northern Ireland. Divided into groups.
      • 1st group of 20 subjects had committed VIOLENT offences including homicide and grevious bodily harm. Mean age was 29.
        • 2nd group of 40 SEX OFFENDERS included rapists, paedophiles and those who had committed sexual assault. Their mean ages were 41 for paedophiles but 28 for others.
          • 3rd group of 20 committed PROPERTY offences e.g. theft and burglary. Their mean age was 29.
    • Results:
      • Those who had committed sexual offences showed the MOST REMORSE about their behaviour followed by those who had committed violent acts against the person.
      • Very little difference found in MENTAL element scores for all offenders.
      • EXTERNAL attribution: Highest scores for VIOLENT and lowest for sex offenders.
      • Violent Irish prisoners showed lower mental element, lower guilt and higher external attribution scores than England.
    • Conclusions:
      • Findings show strong consistency with earlier findings across the offender's groups, suggesting strong consistency in way offenders attribute blame.
        • Only real difference was in violent prisoners which may be a result of violence prevalent in Northern Ireland at the time of the troubles.


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