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8 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 1 (1971)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd8 and id is 1 raw text is: 







The Application of Self-Esteem Measures in A
  Correctional Setting: 1. Reliability of the Scale
        and Relationship to Other Measures

                       LAWRENCE A. BENNETT
     Chief, Research Division, California Department of Corrections
     Ph.D., (Psychology) 1968, Claremont Graduate School, California
                        DONALD   E. SORENSEN
Senior Psychologist, California Medical Facility, Reception-Guidance Center,
                  Department of Corrections, Vacaville
             M. S., (Psychology), 1951, University of Illinois
                          HORACE   FORSHAY
Supervisor, Vocational Testing and Counseling, California Medical Facility,
         Reception-Guidance Center, Department  of Corrections
         M. Ed., (Vocational Counseling), 1948, University of Miami

       Recently Coopersmith' related subjective self-esteem of a group
    of adolescents to social and family antecedents. Self-esteem has
    been  viewed as an important personality variable in postinstitu-
    tional adjustment of former inmates. The applicability of a modi-
    fication of Coopersmith's scale, the Self-Esteem Inventory (SEl), to
    prison inmates was  explored. The distribution found was more
    nearly normal than clinical predictions for this population would
    suggest. Reliability measures were computed  and  found to be
    satisfactory. Further, the scale has a low relationship with age,
    intelligence, and socioeconomic status. A moderate relationship to
    tested grade level was found (p < .05, while the relationship to
    claimed  level of  achievement  reached  statistical significance
    (p < .01). In general, the scale was seen as an adequate tool for
    further study in the correctional field.


  Most clinicians working in the cor-
rectional setting would agree that
self-esteem is a crucial aspect of the
personality of the offender, some-
times playing an important role in
his being involved in unlawful be-
havior, often being markedly modi-
fied by incarceration and  possibly
related to failure on parole following
institutionalization. The mere pro-
cess of entering the society of the in-
                                   1


carcerated is demoralizing.s When
this is coupled with the realization
that commitment   to a correctional
facility represents the sy mbolic
equivalent to being ostracized from
the tribal community, the loss of a
  IS. Coopersmith, The Antecedent of Self-
Esteem, (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman,
1967).
  2E. Goffman, Asylums, (New York: Double-
day, 1961).

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