High Anxiety Offenders in Correctional Settings: It's Time for Another Look

Patricia Van Voorhis, University of Cincinnati
Shelley Johnson Listwan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Lisa Spruance, University of Cincinnati
Kimberly Gentry Sperber, Talbert House

This paper reviews four studies with respect to findings pertaining to high anxiety/neurotic, offenders: (a) a 1985-1986 study of fedeal prison inmates; (b) a 10-year follow-up study of the same cohort; (c) an experimental study of state parolees in a cognitive-behavioral study, and (d) a correlational study of sex-offenders. All four studies note clear distinctions between the neurotic offenders and offenders with different personality traits. Specifically: (a) thjey experienced more stress in prison settings; (b) had higher long-term recidivism rates than other types of offenders, including those with antisocial personality traits; (c) were harmed by the cognitive intervention tested; and (d) demonstrated very different motives and styles of sex offending behavior. A case is made for renewed attention to correctional interventions for these offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006