Moral Disengagement Among Serious Juvenile Offenders: A Longitudinal Study of the Relations Between Morally Disengaged Attitudes and Offending

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Title Moral Disengagement Among Serious Juvenile Offenders: A Longitudinal Study of the Relations Between Morally Disengaged Attitudes and Offending
Author Shulman, Elizabeth P.; Cauffman, Elizabeth; Piquero, Alex; Fagan, Jeffrey
Journal Name Developmental Psychology
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Abstract The present study investigates the relation between moral disengagement—one’s willingness to conditionally endorse transgressive behavior—and ongoing offending in a sample of adolescent male felony offenders (N 1,169). In addition, the study attempts to rule out callous– unemotional traits as a third variable responsible for observed associations between moral disengagement and offending. A bivariate latent change score analysis suggests that reduction in moral disengagement helps to speed decline in self-reported antisocial behavior, even after adjusting for the potential confound of callous– unemotional traits. Declines in moral disengagement are also associated with declining likelihood of offending, based on official records. Given that both moral disengagement and offending tend to decrease over time, these findings suggest that changing attitudes toward antisocial behavior contribute to desistance from offending among delinquent youth.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0025404
Volume 47
Issue Number 6
Page from 1619
Page to 1632
ISSN 0012-1649
Date Accessioned 2012-04-02; 2012-04-29T22:17:50Z
Date Available 2012-04-29T22:17:50Z
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Causes and Prevention of Crime
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/44646
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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