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An exploration into the field of personality differences between drug-addicted offenders and non-addicted offenders Reith, Gunther


This research project was designed to investigate the personality differences between incarcerated, drug-addicted offenders and non-addicted offenders. It was hypothesized: (1) that addicted and non-addicted offenders differed significantly on certain unspecified personality variables; (2) that 'Age', 'Education', 'Intelligence' and 'Type of Environment', influenced the endorsement of certain unspecified personality statements. To test the first hypothesis, addicted and non-addicted inmates of a Canadian Federal Penitentiary were matched individually, according to four variables: age, education, intelligence and type of environment. To test the second hypothesis, the two groups were further classified according to the relative position which each group member occupied on a high-low continuum for each matching variable (age, education, etc.). Thus a high and low value of each variable was obtained by taking the median of each distribution. The groups were classified according to the new intra-variable criteria, namely: high age versus low age, high intelligence versus low intelligence, high education versus low education, and a positive versus negative environment. Except for the environmental variable, all of these intra-variable groups consisted of equal numbers of cases. The Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (195>8) was administered to 70 matched pairs. The results indicated that except for the intelligence variable the two hypotheses were confirmed. The main study, concerned with the first hypothesis, established that on five of the fifteen personality variables, differences between addicted and non-addicted offenders were statistically significant at the one per cent level. These variables were, Succorance, Abasement, Endurance, Heterosexuality, and Aggression. The intra-group study, concerned with the second hypothesis, established that three of the four matching variables influenced the endorsement of personality statements on the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule. Intelligence did not prove to be a variable influencing the endorsement of a personality statement.

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