Life Space Interviewing with Ten Female Juvenile Delinquents : An Attempt to Identify Common Perceptions
Harbaugh, Janice Kuehl
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The problem. The problem was to identify perceptions that were common to ten female juvenile delinquents at the Iowa State Training School for Girls at Mitchellville, Iowa. These perceptions would center around each girl's feeling about her present situation or life space, her perceptions of the events leading to her admittance to the Training School, and her perceptions of her future plans. Procedure. The investigator asked for volunteers to help her with a project. After ten volunteers were selected, case histories were written for each. The volunteers were then interviewed, using the life space interviewing techynique. Selected parts of the taped interviews were transcribed. A three-column chart was made, listing information obtained from the interview, information obained from the case history, and the investigator's observations. The ten charts were studied, and conclusions were drawn concerning common perceptions. Findings. The investigator found that the volunteers had an unsatisfactory relationship with their fathers. They criticized their mothers less than they did their fathers. The volunteers saw school as being worthless. They did not see themselves as being smart of able to compete for grades. The police were perceived as being cruel and unfair. The volunteers as a whole did not have concrete plans for their future, or felt that they would be successful. Several felt they had been talked into committing delinquent acts by other people.
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