Conceptualization and Measurement of Criminal Thinking: Initial Validation of the Criminogenic Thinking Profile
This article describes two studies concerning the development of a new measure of criminal thinking, the Criminogenic Thinking Profile (CTP), influenced by the construct of psychopathy, and traditional models of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). An experimental item pool based on verbalizations from offenders served as the pilot version of the instrument. Principal components analysis of the items resulted in a 62-item, eight-factor scale that was internally consistent. In terms of content, six of the resulting factors were conceptually related to psychopathy, one to CBT, and one to neutralization theory. The factor structure and internal reliability was supported by a subsequent confirmatory factor analysis. Initial support for the CTP’s convergent validity was indicated by its positive correlations with psychopathy and personality disorders associated with criminal, aggressive, and impulsive behaviors. The CTP’s divergent validity was supported by its inverse correlations with indices of healthy personality functioning. The CTP offers a somewhat different constellation of thinking patterns than those found on previously published criminal thinking instruments. The utility of the CTP to identify relevant cognitive targets for offender treatment is a recommended area of future research.
Damon Mitchell, Raymond Chip Tafrate: Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, USA
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, July 2011
(reprinted with permission)