Predicting offenders' criminogenic cognitions with status variables

Jon T. Mandracchia, Robert D. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Certain thinking styles promote criminal behavior, and these criminogenic cognitions are not engaged in equally by all offenders. It is imperative to know which offenders are engaging in more criminogenic thinking so their problematic thinking can be targeted and altered during correctional treatment programming. In doing so, correctional mental health professionals may help reduce recidivism. In the current investigation, the researchers sought to identify offenders most likely to engage in criminogenic cognitions on the basis of status variables (i.e., demographic, incarceration, and mental health variables) using data from 595 adult male incarcerated offenders. Findings indicate that younger offenders, less educated offenders, Black and Hispanic offenders, single (i.e., not in a relationship) offenders, offenders without a violent index offense, offenders with a psychological disorder, and offenders not participating in mental health services all endorsed higher levels of some types of criminogenic cognitions. These findings have important implications for correctional mental health care practice toward criminal recidivism reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-25
Number of pages21
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • crime
  • criminogenic thinking
  • offender treatment
  • recidivism


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