Female Offenders : A Study of the Characteristics of Self-Esteem, Dependency, and Psychological Androgyny and How These Characteristics Differ in Three Correctional Settings
Rosberg, Gary Richard
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The Problem. The intent of this study was to analyze three specific assumptions about female offenders that appear to be commonly held by professionals in corrections, that they: have low self-esteem, high dependency, and possess a masculine sex-role identity. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships and differences between these three variables and to identify how they differ in female offenders in three correctional settings. The Procedure. The data were obtained by administering the Texas Social Behavior Inventory (self-esteem), the Interpersonal Dependency Inventory (dependency), and the Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire (sex-role identity), and a demographic profile questionnaire to seventy-five volunteer adult female offenders in the Iowa criminal justice system. The sample consisted of twenty-five women in each of the following three subgroups: probation, a community correctional facility, and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women. The statistical analyses utilized to measure relationships was the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient test and to measure differences the Analysis of Variance test was used with a least squares difference test to identify specific differences. The Findings. The results indicated that: there was a negative relationship between level of self-esteem and dependency, androgynous female offenders reported higher levels of self-esteem than both the feminine and undifferentiated female offenders, and masculine female offenders reported higher levels of self-esteem than women in the undifferentiated classification. There was no significant negative relationship between level of self-esteem and level of the correctional setting. There was no significant difference in level of dependency among offenders in the three subgroups or among the four categories of sex-roles. The Recommendations. Research should be conducted on a larger sample and on a random basis. A longitudinal study should be undertaken to identify changes in the aforementioned variables as the offender progresses through the system.
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