Female offending and the question of gender specificity

Beckmann, April (2014). Female offending and the question of gender specificity. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis aims to present an examination of the issue of gender specificity and how it applies to understanding female offending. For several decades, a debate has existed in the literature between two fields, the feminist criminological and ‗risk-need-responsivity‘ camps, regarding the most appropriate way to assess and treat female offenders. A systematic review in chapter two examined factors associated with risk for reoffending in females. It demonstrated that while traditional approaches are adequate in predicting risk for recidivism, they do not appear to fully incorporate the complex presentation of females who offend. An empirical research project examining gender differences in violence subtypes in inpatients demonstrated that females who are instrumentally violent present with the most treatment needs in terms of history of victimisation and mental health needs. However, similarities are also noted between genders, with personality disorders being most predictive of instrumental violence in both males and females. Chapter four presents a critique of the Levenson Self Report Psychopathy scale (LSPS) which was utilised to help delineate gender differences in violent subtypes and is commonly used to assess self-reported traits for psychopathy. The review indicated that the LSPS may offer a reliable and valid way to assess traits associated with psychopathy. However, it is also noted that mixed findings regarding factor structure and potential gender issues suggest that tool should be used with some caveats in place. Results indicate that in the search for understanding gender differences in offending, an exploration regarding the expression of psychopathy and personality disorders across genders is integral. It is evident that the time has come to move beyond the gender specificity debate to work towards a more integrated approach to assessing and managing females who offend.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
Hamilton-Giachritsis, CatherineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5025


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