Boduszek, Daniel, Dhingra, Katie, Stander, Camille, Ioannou, Maria and Palmer, Derrol (2014) Latent Classes of Criminal Intent Associated with Criminal Behaviour. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 2 (2). ISSN 2353-4192
Abstract

Background: This study aimed to examine the number of latent classes of criminal intent that exist among prisoners and to look at the associations with recidivism, number of police arrests, type of offending (robbery, violent offences, murder, and multiple offences), and age.

Participants and Procedure: Latent class analysis was used to identify homogeneous subgroups of prisoners based on their responses to the 10 questions reflecting criminal intent. Participants were 309 male recidivistic prisoners incarcerated in a Maximum Security Prison. Multinomial logistic regression was used to interpret the nature of the latent classes, or groups, by estimating the association between recidivism and latent classes of criminal intent while controlling for offence type (robbery, violent offences, murder, and multiple offences), number of arrests, and age.

Results: The best fitting latent class model was a three-class solution: ‘High criminal intent’ (49.3%), ‘Intermediate criminal intent’ (41.3%), and ‘Low criminal intent’ (9.4%). The latent classes were differentially related to the external variables (recidivism, violent offences, and age).

Conclusions: Criminal intent is best explained by three homogenous classes that appear to represent an underlying continuum. Future work is needed to identify whether these distinct classes of criminal intent may predict engagement in various types of criminal behaviour.

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