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A COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE OF PROFESSIONAL AND NON-PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS IN PAKISTAN

Tariq, Pervaiz Naeem A COMPARATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE OF PROFESSIONAL AND NON-PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS IN PAKISTAN. PhD thesis, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

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Abstract

Criminal behaviour, being heterogeneous collection of activities, is often argued to be classified into more homogeneous units. As important differences exist among such kinds of criminals as violent killers, obsessive rapists, professional thieves, white-collar offenders and prostitutes, Classification of offender patterns are required if progress is to be made towards the discovery of causal factors or/and effective handling and rehabilitation of prisoners. Previous researchers have demonstrated the existence of offender types by pointing to similarities among offenders. However, the empirical tests of offenders typologies have been rare and a few studies done so far indicate that there is usually a disagreement found between typological claims and empirical observations. But despite the difficulties encountered in the development of typologies of criminals. studying them in types Is important for psychologists whose interests. revolve around and persist in the etiology of criminal behaviour. It is also important as studying crime and delinquency in general and exploring some global theories which could explain all criminality seems futile simply because of the tremendous amount of heterogeneity found in criminal behaviour. In the present research, two samples of convicts, one randomly chosen (N= 240) and the other selected through stratified random sampling (N= 140) from Pakistani prisons are classified in two broad categories. namely Professional and Non-professional Criminals. These two types are not obtained from any theoretically constructed typology. Neither do these prelude other types. Rather, these are empirically derived types differing on certain defined attributes called Classifying Variables such as Type of Crime, Past Criminal Record, Relationship with the Victim, Premeditation. and Criminal Associations. These variables are offense-related and not offense-specific. These are operationally definable. On these variables is also based the folk concept of a Professional Criminal in the Pakistani society. This concept was tapped in the present research by having responses of 151 subjects belonging to representatives of general public and law-enforcement agencies on 23 questions constructed in such a way that each described a Professional Criminal in relation to one or the other Classifying Variable. The findings indicated that there was a high concurrence between the researcher's conceptualization of a Professional Criminal and that of the lay Public. The data on prisoners regarding Classifying Variables, Demographic Variables and Early Home Environmental Conditions were collected with the help of interview-guide. Indepth interview was held with each subject. Data on Personality Characteristics, namely Socialization. Self-esteem and Acting-out (Aggressive) behaviour were obtained by administering three personality tests which are Socialization Scale of California Personality Inventory, Urdu Adjective Check-list and the Hand Test. The findings Indicate that most Pakistani prisoners are classifiable Into the two suggested categories of Professional and Non-professional Criminals on the basis of defined Classifying Variables. Though the variables did not classify the subjects in one particular direction of Professional or Non-profesionalness as a subject considered Professional on one variable was not necessarily judged Professional on another variable, yet high correlations were found as regards the judgement of subjects on the classifying variables. which suggested that if a subject was judged as “Professional” on one classifying variable, he was likely to be judged so on another variable too. Type of Crime and Past Criminal Record were two variables which showed the highest correlation. Findings also Indicate that Professional and Non-professional Criminals significantly differed from each other on all the Classifying Variables. Four hypotheses related to Demographic Variables were supported by the findings which meant that compared with Non-professional Criminals, Professional Criminals (a) had committed their crimes more frequently in urban localities, (b) had lesser mean age,(c) were more frequently unmarried at the time of commission of their first offence and (d) more frequently reported having had a chequered Occupational Life Pattern. No significant differences, however, were observed between the two types on variables of educational level and socio-economic status. As regards the Early Home environmental Conditions. all the four hypotheses were supported by the findings which meant that Professionals, compared with Non-professionals, (a) belonged more frequently to Physically Broken Homes, (b) belonged more frequently to Psychologically Disrupted Homes, (c) reported more frequently having received Defective Modes of Discipline from their parents. and (d) scored higher on the Psychological Adversity Scale. As regards the personality characteristics, two of the three hypotheses were supported by the findings which meant that Professional Criminals, compared with Non-professional criminals. scored significantly lower on both Socialization and Self-esteem scales. However, there was not found any significant difference between Professional and Non-professional Criminals on the variable of "Acting-out" (Aggressive) behaviour. Etiological importance of the classification has been highlighted. Implications for further research have been discussed and suggestions for effective handling of convicted prisoners have been given on the basis of the research findings.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Subjects:Social Sciences(g) > Psychology (g16)
ID Code:2579
Deposited By:Mr. Javed Memon
Deposited On:07 Jul 2009 10:03
Last Modified:07 Jul 2009 10:03

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