Program of Study: PhD in Forensic Psychology specialization in victimology.
Young offenders are categorized to be between the age of 10-17 years. After serving their stipulated term, it has been
found that there is a high rate of recidivism among Juveniles. The recidivisms rate amongst are far higher amongst
Juveniles then adults with the rate being 75% within three years. This is a problem as there is little to no literature on
how to reduce recidivism in young offenders. There is a great need for research on effective rehabilitation and re-entry
programs that will include mental health and substance abuse programs that will assist with decreasing recidivism and
help in integrating these young offenders back into society as productive members.
Quantitative Research Problem:
There is little to no research on the impact of mental health and substance abuse programs which are suggested to be
offered to these juvenile offenders. Therefore, the scholarly community does not know the extent to which these
juveniles’ risk and criminogenic risk factors, and if implementing substance abuse and mental health counseling with
Quantitative Research Purpose:
The purpose of this quantitative research is to determine the extent of mental health and substance abuse counseling
services during the discharge process has a connection to the high recidivism rate amongst juveniles.
Quantitative Research Question:
What is the extent of mental health and substance abuse counselling services offered to juvenile offenders during the
Theoretical or Conceptual Framework:
The Conceptual Framework for this research study was provided by Agnew (2009) General Stain Theory. Agnew strain
theory argued that strains and stressors where the contributing factor to negative emotions such as anger and
frustration which is a buildup that causes individuals to commit criminal offenses to assist in relieving their strains
(Agnew 2009). For example, most juveniles that commit criminal activities is usually due to financial hardships, which
increases the strain too rob, or a commit a breaking. This need to commit these crimes relieves the strain of their
financial hardship or to alleviate their negative emotions through drugs and alcohol.
According to Agnew et al. (2009) there are three types of strains:
(1) The failure to achieve positive goals. This could be the result between what one expects and what they achieve, or
what they expect an outcome to be as oppose to what the outcome truly is.
(2) The removal of positive stimuli from the juvenile. This could be losing a parent, being rejected by family or losing a
friend. For these juveniles to compensate for these strains, they often lean towards criminal activities such as robbing,
hurting someone or even often killing someone.
(3) This pertains to strain as a result of negative stimuli which could refer to physical abuse, sexual abuse, parental
violence or other dangerous conditions (Agnew, et al. 2009).
These negative stimuli often promote aggression and negative emotions that leads to criminal offenses. Agnew’s
researched the conditions of ex-offenders after their release resulted in criminal behavior and delinquency, as well
recidivism (Agnew, et al. 2009).
Quantitative Research Design:
For this research design a comparative, nonexperimental design consisting of a cross-sectional survey to determine if
there was a relationship between juvenile ex-offenders who was provided mental health and substance abuse
counseling compared to juvenile ex-offenders who was not provided mental health and substance abuse counseling
upon reentry and recidivism. From here, the risk factors that influence recidivism and how they are impacted by the
intervention programs are established
Quantitative Sampling Strategy:
The sampling for this research design will be male juvenile ex-offenders who were the age of 13-17 who was recently
released from a juvenile program that had served a minimum of a year and currently on house arrest or probation.
Quantitative Data Collection Method:
Surveys Implementing the Level of Service Inventory (LSI-R) (Andrew & Bonta, 2010). This survey assessment will be
implemented by meeting with juvenile ex-offender’s face to face.
• Nominal variables: according to Borgatta et al. (1980), this is used to name or categorize particular attributes
being measured. In this study, nominal variables are male ex-offenders. This is an independent variable
• Ordinal variables: according to Borgatta et al (1980), this is a type of measurement that takes values with order
or rank. In this study, the ordinal variable is the ages from 13-17 years. This is an independent variable
• Interval variables: according to Borgatta et al (1980), this is a measurement variable that is used to define
values measured along a scale. In this study, the interval variable is ex-offenders who had served a minimum of
a year. This is a dependent variable
• Ratio variables: according to Borgatta et al (1980), this is an extension of the interval variable and is also the
peal of the measurement variable types. In this study, ratio variables include the ages in the form of intervals:
below 13 years, between 13-17 years, and above 17 years. This is a dependent variable
Andrews, D. A., & Bonta, J. (2010). Rehabilitating criminal justice policy and practice. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law,
Agnew, Robert , Nicole Leeper Piquero , and Francis T. Cullen (2009) ‘General Strain Theory and White-Collar Crime’, in
Borgatta, E. F., & Bohrnstedt, G. W. (1980). Level of Measurement. Sociological Methods & Research, 9(2), 147-160.
Sally S. Simpson and David Weisburd (eds) The Criminology of White-Collar Crime, 35-60. New York : Springer.
For your quantitative research design, you want to talk more about your sampling strategy. This site
provides a nice overview of different sampling strategies: http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=2455. For
your variables, an independent variable is anything that you have no control over or that you
deliberately hold constant and your dependent variables are anything that you measure and expect to
be changed or different as a result of your experiment. For your study, one independent variable seems
to be whether the individual did or did not receive counseling. If you want to include age as a second
independent variable, you could do that, but I’m not clear why you predict that will have an impact.
Your dependent variable will be related to recitivism in some way. Perhaps the question is whether they
returned to prison at one year after they were released or at five years after they were released? This
would give you two nominal dependent variables.