Delinquency, Institutionalization, and Time Orientation
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1976, Vol. 44, No. 5, 745-759
15 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015
Date Written: 1976
This study investigated the temporal orientation of delinquents and non-delinquents while adequately controlling institutionalization. For this purpose, four groups were selected: institutionalized delinquents (prison inmates); institutionalized non-delinquents (soldiers); non-institutionalized delinquents (delinquents on probation); and non-institutionalized non-delinquents (vocational students). The findings support most of the hypotheses: Although all subjects were basically future oriented, the institutionalized subjects (mainly prisoners) were more present oriented than their non-institutionalized counterparts. As the prisoner approached release, there was a decrease in the salience of the present and an increase in the salience of the future in his life space. Delinquents (both in and out of prison) perceived the past as more negative and the future as more positive than did non-delinquents. Institutionalized subjects (especially prisoners) perceived the present as more negative than their non-institutionalized counterparts. The affective attitudes of the non-delinquents toward the past, present, and future were much more balanced and realistic than that of the delinquents.
Keywords: delinquents, institutionalization, non-delinquents, soldiers, prisoners, future, past
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