ERIC Number: ED250608
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Service Availability on Clinical Judgments of Delinquents.
Mulvey, Edward P.
Many researchers have begun to investigate juvenile justice as a series of interdependent treatment and punishment decisions made by different professionals. To test the effects of resource availability and agency type on judgments of amenability to treatment, court personnel (N=49), social service workers (N=66), and community mental health workers (N=53) from six locations in the same state responded to prose vignettes and videotaped interviews with adolescents portraying juvenile offenders. The vignettes represented a range of background characteristics found to be related to high, medium, or low amenability to treatment. Multivariate analysis showed a relationship between the three variables, but the hypothesized linear relationship did not emerge consistently. There was a consistent trend across agency types to view punishment as beneficial when few resources were available; however, court personnel across all resource availability conditions saw punishment as beneficial. All personnel in all resource conditions saw non-residential therapy as the most effective service for problem adolescents. Social service and mental health personnel in medium resource availability conditions saw youths as more treatable than did comparable personnel in high or low resource availability conditions. Court and social service personnel in medium resource availability conditions tended to see a variety of services as less effective than comparable personnel in low or high resource availability conditions. Individual background characteristics of agency personnel were generally unrelated to amenability judgments or preferred treatment choices. The findings suggest that amenability judgments may be sensitive to local conditions, and medium resource availability may make personnel more optimistic about treatment potential but more pessimistic about the effectiveness of certain services. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Juvenile Justice System
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).