Psychological experiences of placement in correctional facilities within the Western Cape Province of South Africa : an exploratory study of incarcerated youth

Slabber, Hester Jacoba (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Focusing on the social-psychological level, where the focus is on negative relationships with others, Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) is internationally one of the most widely employed criminological theories explaining the onset and manifestation of youth offending. GST contends that youth are pressured into criminal behaviour by the negative affective states generated by negative relationships, which are characteristically defined as either aversive or not from the perspective of the youth; where especially anger motivates the youth to engage in maladaptive behaviour, resulting in maladaptive coping. Applying data from 81 incarcerated youth from three correctional centres located in the Western Cape province of South Africa, the study focussed on the criminogenic effects of four variables to explain youth offending under the auspices of GST: self-control (using the Self-Control Schedule [SCS]), coping (using the Coping Strategy Indicator [CSI]), perceived social support (using the Social Support Appraisal scale [SSA]) and anger (using the State-Trait Anger Scale [STAS]). Results displayed significant positive correlations between self-control and the use of problem-solving coping, followed by significant positive correlations between self-control and perceived social support from family members, significant positive correlations between anger and the use of avoidant coping, as well as significant positive correlations between self-control and the use of avoidant coping. The results furthermore displayed significant negative correlations between anger and self-control, followed by significant negative correlations between anger and perceived social support from family members and friends respectively. In addition, the problem-solving coping strategy emerged as a significant positive predictor of self-control, whereas the avoidant coping strategy emerged as a significant positive predictor of anger. Anger, however, emerged as a significant negative predictor of self-control, where the social support-seeking coping strategy emerged as a significant negative predictor of perceived social support from family members. Support for the possible application of Agnew’s GST to the context of South Africa was found and inferences made for the implications for intervention, where it was suggested that psychologists and social workers working with the rehabilitation of youth offenders consider the application of multisystem therapy (MST) with youth offenders, as MST aims to influence maladaptive behaviour by changing key aspects of the youth’s social context in ways that promote pro-social behaviour rather than maladaptive behaviour. The study concluded with a recommendation for further longitudinal research to gain a better understanding of the strain-crime relationship that influence youth to engage in maladaptive behaviour, as is mentioned in GST literature.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Met fokus op die sosiaal-sielkundige vlak, veral op negatiewe verhoudings met ander, word Agnew se Algemene Spanningsteorie (AST) internasionaal as een van die mees gebruikte kriminologiese teorieë beskou, wat die ontstaan en die verskyning van jeugmisdaad verduidelik. AST beweer dat jeug druk ervaar om deel te neem aan kriminele gedrag as gevolg van die negatiewe affektiewe toestande wat deur negatiewe verhoudings bepaal word, wat kenmerkend gedefinieer word as óf negatief of nie uit die perspektief van die jeug; waar veral woede die jeug motiveer om betrokke te raak by wanaangepaste gedrag, wat lei tot wanaangepaste omgaan. Deur die toepassing van data van 81 jeuggevangenes van drie korrektiewe sentrums geleë in die Wes-Kaap provinsie van Suid-Afrika, het die studie gefokus op die kriminogeniese gevolge van vier veranderlikes wat jeugmisdaad onder leiding van AST verduidelik: selfbeheer (met behulp van die Selfbeheer Skedule [SCS]), omgaan (met behulp van die Omgaanstrategieskaal [CSI]), waargenome sosiale ondersteuning (met behulp van die Sosiale Ondersteuning Erkenningskaal [SSA]) en woede (met behulp van die State-Trait Woedeskaal [STAS]). Resultate vertoon beduidende positiewe korrelasie tussen selfbeheer en die gebruik van probleemoplossingsomgaan, gevolg deur 'n beduidende positiewe korrelasie tussen selfbeheer en vermeende sosiale ondersteuning van familielede, 'n beduidende positiewe korrelasie tussen woede en die gebruik van vermydingsomgaan, sowel as 'n beduidende positiewe korrelasie tussen selfbeheer en die gebruik van vermydingsomgaan. Die resultate vertoon verder 'n beduidende negatiewe korrelasie tussen woede en selfbeheer, gevolg deur 'n beduidende negatiewe korrelasie tussen woede en vermeende sosiale ondersteuning van familielede en vriende onderskeidelik, sowel as tussen waargenome sosiale ondersteuning van familielede en die gebruik van sosiale ondersteuningsoekende omgaan. Verder, met die regressie-ontleding het probleemoplossingsomgaan na vore gekom as 'n beduidende positiewe voorspeller van selfbeheer, terwyl vermydingsomgaan na vore gekom as 'n beduidende positiewe voorspeller van woede. Woede het egter na vore gekom as 'n beduidende negatiewe voorspeller van selfbeheer, waar die sosiale ondersteuningsomgaan na vore gekom het as 'n beduidende negatiewe voorspeller van waargenome sosiale ondersteuning van familielede. Ondersteuning vir die moontlike toepassing van Agnew se AST in die konteks van Suid-Afrika was gevind en afleidings gemaak vir die implikasies vir ingryping, waar dit voorgestel word dat sielkundiges of sosiale werkers, wat met die rehabilitasie van jeugmisdadigers werk, gebruik maak van multi-sisteem terapie (MST), aangesien MST die doel het om wanaangepaste gedrag te beïnvloed deur die verandering van die belangrikste aspekte van die jeug se sosiale konteks op maniere wat pro-sosiale gedrag, eerder as wanaangepaste gedrag, bevorder. Die studie het afgesluit met die voorstel dat verdere longitudinale navorsing aanbeveel word om 'n beter begrip van die spanning-misdaad verhouding te kry wat 'n invloed speel op jeug betrokkenheid by wanaangepaste gedrag, soos genoem in AST literatuur.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86493
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