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What are criminal thinking errors? (April 2015)

Jo Gustafson
posted this on December 26, 2012, 1:20 PM

According to Don Andrews and James Bonta (The Psychology of Criminal Conduct, 2010), the following are risk factors contributing to an individual's criminal conduct.

Major Factors:

  1. Antisocial/pro-criminal attitudes and values.
  2. Pro-criminal associates and isolation from others who are anti-criminal.
  3. Temperamental and personality factors, including pyschopathy, impulsivity, and other cognitive deficits.
  4. History of antisocial behavior.
  5. Familial factors that include criminality, family psychological and dysfunctional patterns.
  6. Low levels of personal education, vocational, or financial achievement and unstable employment.

Minor Factors

  1. Lower-class origins (assessed by neighborhood conditions and parental achievements).
  2. Personal distress (strain, alienation, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, etc.).
  3. Other combinations of biological/neuropsychological indicators.


Construct and Predictive Validity of Criminal Thinking Scales [Journal Article]

Taxman, Faye S., Anne Giuranna Rhodes, and Levent Dumenci, 2011


Thinking Errors Defined

Barnhart, Tracy E., 2010



Motivating Change When Working with Criminal Thinking

Clark-Patterson, Frances, 2009


Pathways to Serious Offending

Yessine, Annie K., and James Bonta, Public Safety Canada, 2008

"This study use[s] a sample of male and female Canadian juvenile probationers followed into middle adulthood to explore the existence of distinctive criminal pathways and identify the early characteristics that predict the offending trajectories." 023074