Youngs, Donna E., Canter, David V. and Carthy, Nikki (2016) The offender's narrative: Unresolved dissonance in Life as a Film (LAAF) responses. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 21 (2). pp. 251-265. ISSN 2044-8333
Abstract

Purpose. A growing body of literature indicates the value of exploring the accounts offenders
give of their lives. This raises questions about whether offenders’ narratives, distinctive from
those of non-offenders, elucidate the identity and agency processes that facilitate continued
offending.
Method. To explore this, 61 offenders and 90 non- offenders described their Life as a Film
(LAAF).
Results. Significant differences between the two samples are revealed across content
categories relating to Implicit Content, Explicit Processes, Complexity and Agency. These
relate to a central focus on criminality as a dominant aspect of identity, a generally negative
undertone, a concern with the materialistic within the narrative and the significant, yet
problematic nature, of relations with others. These four features capture a meta-narrative of
Unresolved Dissonance sustaining offending.
Conclusion. The findings open the way for the use of the LAAF in order to explore ways of
resolving offenders Unresolved Dissonance, through reconstructing their narratives,
complementing the Good Lives approach.

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