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Cognitive abilities and antisocial behavior in prison: A longitudinal assessment using a large state-wide sample of prisoners

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  • Silver, Ian A.
  • Nedelec, Joseph L.

Abstract

Cognitive abilities have been shown to have both direct and indirect effects on antisocial behavior in a wide variety of contexts, including inmate misconduct. Nevertheless, although the findings have been robust, no assessments have offered an examination of the association between cognitive abilities and longitudinal variation in the frequency of inmate misconduct during imprisonment. In an effort to address this gap within the literature, the current study directly examines the longitudinal association between cognitive abilities and the frequency of inmate misconduct during imprisonment. Analyses were conducted using data collected during the state-wide Evaluation of Ohio's Prison Programs. The analytical sample of N = 88,145 and the 5 ½ year period represent one of the largest and longest assessments of the frequency of inmate misconduct clusters within prison and the first to examine the influence of cognitive abilities on such clustering. The results of growth curve analyses (GCA) indicated that higher cognitive abilities were associated with a lower intercept and a more gradual decline in the frequency of misconduct over time when compared to individuals with lower cognitive abilities. This pattern was also partially supported by the misconduct clusters estimated during latent class growth analysis (LCGA). Overall, the findings indicate that cognitive abilities affect both the clustering and the frequency of prison misconduct.

Suggested Citation

  • Silver, Ian A. & Nedelec, Joseph L., 2018. "Cognitive abilities and antisocial behavior in prison: A longitudinal assessment using a large state-wide sample of prisoners," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 17-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intell:v:71:y:2018:i:c:p:17-31
    DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2018.09.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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