Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (Crim Behav Ment Health )

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons


Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health brings together material relevant to the interface of psychiatry, psychology, crime and the law. It is primarily concerned with research papers on the causes of crime and delinquency, the treatment of mentally abnormal offenders, the police, the probation service, the courts, the legal process, and the social services. Discussion papers are also published from time to time. The journal is intended primarily for psychiatrists and psychologists who work with mentally abnormal offenders or violent patients, or who are engaged in research or teaching on crime or the criminal justice system. The journal will also interest lawyers, criminologists, sociologists and other social scientists.

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    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health website
  • Other titles
    Criminal behaviour and mental health (Online), Criminal behaviour and mental health, CBMH
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  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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John Wiley and Sons

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Publications in this journal

  • Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 12/2014; 24(5):368-72.
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    ABSTRACT: Background The key question is: are self-reports and official records equally valid indicators of criminal offending?AimsWe examine the correspondence between self-reports and official records of offending, the similarity of childhood and adolescent individual and contextual predictors of both measures of offending, and the similarity of age 48 correlates of both measures of offending.Methods Men (N = 436) from the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, a sample of all 3rd graders in Columbia County, New York, in 1959–60, participated. The youth, their peers and their parents were interviewed when the youth were age 8; the youth were later interviewed at ages 19, 30 and 48.ResultsWe found moderate to high correspondence between self-reports of having been in trouble with the law and official arrest records. Lifetime self-reports and official records of offending were generally predicted by the same childhood and adolescent variables, and were correlated with many of the same adult outcome measures. By age 48, life-course non-offenders defined by either self-reports or official records had better outcomes than offenders.Conclusions The results validate the use of adolescent and adult self-reports of offending, and the early identification of individuals at risk for adult criminal behaviour through childhood parent and peer reports and adolescent self and peer reports. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014; 24(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Background Much of the research on specialisation in offending tends to show that offending careers are marked by more versatile than specific criminal activity. One key limitation of this research has been that very few studies have used both official records and self-reports to study the longitudinal mix of offences.AimsThis study uses longitudinal data to examine the mixture of offences during mid-adolescence and into early adulthood, a key transitionary period of the life course, using both self-reports and official records.Method Data from 1354 serious adolescent offenders are used to study the mixture of offences over a 7-year period.ResultsThe results point strongly to the conclusion that generality is typical and specialisation is exceptional. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014; 24(4).
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    ABSTRACT: AimThe main aims of this article are to estimate the number of offences that are committed for every one that leads to conviction, and to estimate the probability of an offender being convicted.Method In the Pittsburgh Youth Study, 506 boys were followed up from age 13 to age 24 years, in interviews and criminal records. Self-reports and convictions for serious theft, moderate theft, serious violence and moderate violence were compared.ResultsOn average, 22 offences were self-reported for every conviction. This scaling-up factor increased with age and was the highest for moderate theft and the lowest for serious theft. The probability of a self-reported offender being convicted was 54%. This percentage increased with the frequency and seriousness of offending and was always higher for African American boys than for Caucasian boys. These race differences probably reflected differences in exposure to risk factors.Conclusions More research is needed on scaling-up factors, on frequent and serious offenders who are not convicted, on self-reported non-offenders who are convicted and on why African American boys are more likely than Caucasian boys to be convicted. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014; 24(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Background Individuals with high psychopathy scores are capable of providing valid self-reports on their own personality traits, but there have been no empirical studies of the effect of psychopathic features on responding to sensitive survey questions about specific behaviours.AimsThe aim of this study is to investigate any relationship between facets of psychopathy and participants' willingness to report antisocial acts in youth delinquency surveys, controlling for demographic variables known to be associated with response integrity.Methods In a nationally representative sample of 4,855 Finnish mainstream adolescents aged 15–16, honesty of responding was assessed through direct response integrity questions related to violence, property crime and drug use. Psychopathy was measured with the Antisocial Process Screening Device – Self Report (APSD-SR).ResultsCallous–unemotional traits and, to a lesser degree, narcissistic features were associated with a dishonest response style, although the effect size was modest.Conclusions Although psychopathy does not seem to influence the capability and willingness to report personality traits accurately, it may be associated with endorsing dishonest responses to questions about specific behaviours that have possible repercussions. Our findings suggest that previously observed associations between adolescents' self-reported delinquent behaviour and psychopathic traits may be underestimations of the strength of the effects. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Although self-reported and official measures of criminal behaviour are highly correlated, the concordance between self-reports and official records appears to vary across the population. Few studies, however, have considered the range of individual traits and characteristics that might influence the relative accuracy of self-reports and official records.Method Using data collected from the Australian Temperament Project, we investigated the concordance between official records and self-reports together with some of the factors that might influence it.ResultsThose with criminal records were 3.5 times more likely to report police contact than those with no criminal record. However, there were significant sources of individual-level variation in their convergence, and notably honest respondents were less likely to report an interaction with police. Those at risk of crime and delinquency were less likely to consent to official records searches.Conclusions Many individual characteristics that predisposed individuals towards a criminal career also affected their willingness to consent to official records searches and the concordance between criminal records and self-reports. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014; 24(4).
  • Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014; 24(4).
  • Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background There has been very little research examining criminal careers in adulthood using both self-report data and official records.AimsThe aims of this paper are to use self-reports and official criminal records to explore (1) the prevalences and frequencies of offending behaviour in adulthood; (2) continuity in offending behaviour across the life course; and (3) predictors of official court charges in adulthood.Method Data are drawn from the Seattle Social Development Project, a longitudinal study of 808 participants followed from childhood into early adulthood. Data from ages 21 through 33 are used to examine criminal careers.ResultsPrevalences of offending behaviour decreased with age, whilst frequency amongst offenders remained stable or increased. There was significant continuity in offending from adolescence to adulthood in both self-reports and official records, especially for violence. Violent offences were most likely to result in a court charge. Even after controlling for self-reported frequency of offending, demographic variables (gender, ethnicity, and poverty) were significantly related to a court charge.Conclusions Self-report and official records, both separately and together, provide valuable information for understanding criminal careers in adulthood, especially with regard to offending continuity across the life course and predicting the likelihood of a court charge. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014; 24(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Background Most studies on offending heterogeneity have been conducted with general population samples. It is not clear to what extent these can inform such outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders specifically.AimsThe aim of this study is to compare the offending trajectories of individuals treated for substance use disorders in adolescence with a matched general population sample, and to test for gender differences in this respect.Method Growth mixture models were applied to identify offending trajectories from age 15 to 33 of 1568 individuals treated for substance use disorders in adolescence, and in a matched population-based sample of 1500 individuals.ResultsSeveral parallel trajectories for men and for women were identified in both samples. The substance misuse treatment sample, however, had higher levels of offending, larger offender classes, longer careers and two additional, distinct trajectories. Although there were similarities between the men and women, the men were more heterogeneous offenders. There were two distinct offending trajectories among male substance misusers—decreasing high level and decreasing low level offending.Conclusions Differences between substance using and general population samples indicate that results from the latter could underestimate the severity, heterogeneity, and persistence of offending trajectories if merely generalised to individuals with substance use disorders. Our results also indicated that population-based samples might be underpowered for detecting female offending heterogeneity. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is considerable evidence that aspects of cognitive function, especially executive function, are associated with antisocial behaviour and violence, but most research to date has measured current cognition and previous criminal behaviour. Furthermore, this research has been conducted almost exclusively with male offenders.AimThe aim of this study is to examine relationships between a wide range of cognitive functions and behaviours among women in prison. Our hypotheses were that cognitive functioning would be associated with both more-or-less contemporaneously observed behaviour problems and self-rated adjustment to the environment.Method Forty-five drug-free imprisoned female offenders were individually assessed on a battery of cognitive measures. Prison staff rated their behaviour on the Prison Behaviour Rating Scale and the women rated their own sense of adjustment to the environment on the Prison Adjustment Questionnaire.ResultsStepwise hierarchical regressions indicated that attention was independently associated with behaviours reflecting tension, depression, isolation, fear, victimisation and worry, whereas processing speed was independently associated with behaviours reflecting lack of energy, mental slowness and lack of awareness of the surrounding environment and total Prison Adjustment Questionnaire score. There was no relationship between cognitive functioning and subjective perception of adjustment to prison.Conclusions and Implications for Practice and Future ResearchResults indicate that cognition contributes to some of the behavioural problems displayed by inmates in the prison context. Future studies should evaluate the role of programmes to improve cognitive processes in also improving prison behaviour and also test for continuities and discontinuities with post-release integrative success. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background The Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument – version 2 (MAYSI-2) is designed to assist in identifying the mental health needs of young people admitted to secure establishments. To date, very few studies have assessed the MAYSI-2 outside the USA.AimsThis study aimed to assess the validity and clinical utility of the MAYSI-2 in England.Methods Boys newly admitted into one large young offenders' institution, were consecutively interviewed individually and completed the MAYSI-2, the Youth Self Report (YSR), which capture similar syndrome scales – and the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS), which allows for making psychiatric diagnoses.ResultsTwo hundred and six boys, of average age 16.5 years, completed all assessments. According to the K-SADS, co-morbidity of psychiatric disorders was high (80% of the sample). The MAYSI-2 showed good convergent validity but poorer discriminant validity with the YSR. The MAYSI-2 and YSR corresponded with both conceptually and non-conceptually relevant diagnostic domains.Conclusions The poor ability of the MAYSI-2 and YSR to discriminate and specify disorders is likely to reflect the high rates of co-morbidity. The fact that 90% of the participants reached the caution cut-off for any scale on the MAYSI-2, while suggesting its limited use as a screening tool for this sample, is probably best reflective of the high levels of psychopathology of incarcerated young people in England and Wales since particular efforts to divert as many as possible from custody. A more holistic and comprehensive approach to assessing health needs on admission into custody may be necessary for such a population. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Much of the research on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among sex offenders has been conducted in the USA or Europe. Less is known about it in other regions, particularly in Asia.AimsThe objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among sex offenders in Taiwan and their associations with offender characteristics and criminal history.Methods Participants were randomly selected from men serving sentences in Taiwan's prison for serious sex offenders. Consenting men were assessed using the structured clinical interviews for DSM-IV-TR Axis I and II disorders. Demographics and criminal history were also recorded.ResultsOver two-thirds of the 68 participants met criteria for one or more lifetime Axis I disorders, and nearly 60% met criteria for one or more Axis II disorder. The higher the number of Axis I and cluster B personality disorders, the higher was the total number of convictions.Conclusions Our study adds to the literature that suggests that psychiatric assessment is likely to have an important role in the management and treatment of sex offenders. The finding that multiple disorders are common in this group and associated with more convictions for sex offences suggests that failure to include psychiatric assessment in planning the management of sex offenders may increase the risk of recidivism. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is general population evidence that physical exercise is effective in reducing the risk of depression and has positive effects on mood. Some prisons encourage exercise, but there is no evidence specific to this group on its benefits or the relative merits of different programmes.AimsTo test the effect of physical exercise on the psychological well-being of prisoners and to determine which mental disorders are most affected by physical activity.Methods Sixty-four participants were randomly assigned across three groups: cardiovascular plus resistance training (CRT), high-intensity strength training (HIST) and no exercise. Before and after the 9-month experimental period, all participants completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised.ResultsEach form of exercise significantly reduced depression scale scores compared with those in the control group, in which average depression scale scores actually increased. The CRT group also showed a significant decrease in GSI scores on the Symptom Checklist-90 and on its interpersonal sensitivity scale, whereas the HIST group also significantly improved on the anxiety, phobic anxiety and hostility scale scores.Conclusions Our evidence, taken together with general population studies, supports introduction of supervised, moderately intense exercise for at least 1 h per week for men in prison. They form a high risk group for mental disorders, and such exercise reduces depression and anxiety. Minimal special equipment is needed for CRT. Further research should replicate the study in a larger, multi-centre trial, and examine impact on shorter-term and longer-term prisoners, female prisoners and effects on recidivism. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Little is known about whether or how offenders use mental health services after sentence completion.AimThis study aimed to determine the likelihood of such service use by adult (18–44 years) first-time offenders up to 5 years after sentence completion and possible predictor variables.Methods Pre-sentence and post-sentence mental health service use was obtained from whole-population linked administrative data on 23,661 adult offenders. Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine which socio-demographic, offending and pre-sentence health service variables were associated with such post-sentence service use.ResultsThe estimated 5-year probability of any post-sentence mental health service use was 12% for offenders who had not previously used such services, but still only 42% for those who had. For the latter, best predictors of post-sentence use were past psychiatric diagnosis and history of self-harm; history of self-harm also predicted post-sentence use among new mental health services users and so also did past physical illness. Indigenous offenders had a greater likelihood of service use for any mental disorder or for substance use disorders than non-Indigenous offenders, irrespective of pre-sentence use. Among those with pre-sentence service contact, imprisoned offenders were less likely to use mental health services after sentence than those under community penalties; in its absence, socio-economic disadvantage and geographic accessibility were associated with greater likelihood of post-sentence use.Conclusions Our findings highlight the discontinuity of mental healthcare for most sentenced offenders, but especially prisoners, and suggest a need for better management strategies for these vulnerable groups with mental disorders. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 08/2014;