By Josine Junger-Tas, Ineke Haen Marshall
The self-report procedure in crime learn is tested with admire to its usefulness; difficulties regarding sampling and reaction premiums; the conceptualization, definition, and operationalization of delinquency; validity difficulties; the trying out of the reliability of self-report scales, and instructed ways to development.
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Extra resources for The Self-Report Methodology in Crime Research
There are a number of pitfalls in the selection of the questionnaire items. We have mentioned the question of the representativity of items. In addition, one may question the wisdom of constructing a delinquency scale made up only of one category of delinquency items. It seems advisable to include a variety of delinquent acts, some of which are rather serious as suggested, for example, by Elliott and Ageton (1980). The items must also be appropriate to the sample: focusing on too many trivial behaviors when surveying a high-risk group is likely to undermine the survey's credibility in the eyes of respondents.
The self-report method has also been extensively used with young people and with regard to minor, more common, crimes (Messner and Rosenfeld 1997). It is clear that juveniles have less to lose in admitting rule infractions than do adults and are generally more open to such questioning. Adults tend to present a more conforming self and to give consistently more socially desirable answers than young people (Angenent 1984). Available evidence suggests higher validity for juvenile respondents than for adults.
70-71). The validity of self-reported criminal offenses in adult samples is generally lower than in juvenile samples. Adult respondents are more eager to present a prosocial image; they are aware of the social importance of such an image, have more to lose, and have a higher stake in conformity than do juveniles. An exception in this respect are institutionalized or incarcerated populations, among whom prosocial and conformist self-presentation is less an issue than among respondents in the community.
The Self-Report Methodology in Crime Research by Josine Junger-Tas, Ineke Haen Marshall