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Volume 5 Issue 1

Considering the efficacy of stress management education on small-town and rural police

Oliver, W. M., & Meier, C.

Previous studies on police stress have focused on both maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies and have consistently made the recommendation that agencies provide stress management programs for their officers. As research into the efficacy of these programs is lacking, this study attempted to address this gap in the literature by assessing the impact of stress management training on officers' anxiety, self-reported levels of stress, and behaviors in a paired sample (pretest/posttest) t-test. Findings suggested that these programs do have an impact on officer stress, but as the lag time increases, there is a diminished return of benefit, supporting the need for continued education.

Fathers in jail: Managing dual identities.

Tripp, B.

This research is a qualitative study examining the identity work of incarcerated fathers. Organized around the concept of prisonization, the goal of this project was to examine the way that incarcerated fathers manage the disparate identities of inmate and father. Twenty-five men were interviewed at a jail in Florida, and were asked to share their life stories with the investigator. Narrative linkages between their families, their crimes, and their time in jail were utilized to develop a deeper understanding of these men's lives. Diverse identity management strategies, regulation of contact with children, and turning point narratives were the main forms of identity work these men used to mange the contrasting identities of inmate and father.

The relationship between encoding ability and aggressive behavior

Tsamis, V. J., Rebok, G. W., & Montague, D. R.

While past research efforts have reported a relationship between encoding ability and aggressive behavior in children, the relationship between encoding ability and adult aggressiveness has not been examined. Encoding, an element of attention, refers to the ability to recall and reorder information stored in memory. Using selected cognitive tests and a self-report measure of aggressive behavior in a sample of community college students (n=55), this study investigated the relationship between encoding ability and aggressive behavior, (i.e., physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, hostility, indirect aggression, and total aggression). Aggressive behavior was assessed by the Aggression Questionnaire of the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, a widely-used measure of aggressive behavior. Encoding was measured using the WAIS-III Digit Span and Arithmetic subtests. Initial analyses showed no significant correlations between the cognitive measures and the five scales of aggressive behavior. However, there was a significant age-related association between scores on the cognitive measures and the indices of aggressive behavior. Two groups were created, those who reported attention problems and those who did not report attention problems. When the two groups were compared, participants who had a history of attention problems were verbally more aggressive than participants with a negative history of attention problems, and they were generally more aggressive. A composite score, called an "encoding score," was related to scores on the aggressive behavior scales. Moreover, the age-related relationship between these two variables suggests that the relationship is maturational and may disappear as an individual ages. Concerning the latter, participants in the current study were enrolled in junior college. Therefore, persons who had attention problems and were aggressive may not have pursued higher education.

Facial affect recognition as a predictor of performance on a reading comprehension test among criminal sex offenders

Suchy, Y., Rau, H., Whittaker, W. J., Eastvold A., & Strassburg, D. J.

Among common goals for assessments of criminal offenders is to characterize their Reading Comprehension (RC) abilities. However, in addition to RC skills, many RC measures also require visual-affective skills (due to the requirement to match written passages to pictorial representations that often include affective cues). This study examined the relationship between performances on Reading Comprehension (RC) and Facial Affect Recognition (FAR) tests among male criminal sex offenders and matched controls. FAR was a robust predictor of RC in both groups, even after controlling for education and IQ. In contrast, FAR did not predict world knowledge or visual-constructional skills (i.e., tests that do not have any affective components) beyond education and IQ. These findings are particularly relevant for clinicians who work with criminal populations, as offenders are at a particular risk for exhibiting FAR deficits, which may in turn lead to an underestimation of their RC skills.

The hybrid lineup combining sequential and simultaneous features: A first test

Dillon, J. M, McAllister, H. A., & Vernon, L. L.

Eyewitnesses to a simulated crime attempted to identify the perpetrator from a six person lineup consisting of array sizes of one (sequential array), two (hybrid array), three (hybrid array), and six pictures (simultaneous array). The perpetrator was present in half of the lineups. The hybrid lineup procedure was tested against the sequential and simultaneous lineup procedures, comparing proportion of suspect identifications, lineup rejections, and foil identifications. The results indicate that hybrid array sizes were as good as sequential and better than simultaneous at correct rejections. The simultaneous procedure was superior in correct identifications, although in most cases the differences were not significant.