Delinquency in Three Cultures

By Carl M. Rosenquist; Edwin I. Megargee | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
THE CARD SORT TEST

The Card Sort Test consisted of 140 statements, most concerning attitudes toward family figures, which the boys were to sort into "true" and "false" categories. This test, and the Cartoon Test, which is discussed in the following chapter, shifted the focus of the investigation away from the characteristics of the boys themselves toward their subjective perceptions of, and reactions to, the char- acteristics of others.

In order for these data to be properly evaluated, it is necessary to place them in context. A number of studies have examined the characteristics of the families of delinquents, as perceived by the delinquents themselves as well as by external observers. Before the results of the present investigation are discussed, a representative survey of some of the major studies of the psychological characteristics of the family backgrounds of delinquents will be presented.


Research on the Families of Delinquents

Studies of the psychological characteristics of delinquents' family backgrounds have focused on such factors as the amount and the nature of affection shown by the parents, the consistency and severity of the discipline, the attitudes of the members of the family toward one another, and the identification of the delinquent boys with their fathers. Because of the subtlety of these variables, a variety of research designs have been adopted. In most studies a sample of delinquents and nondelinquents, matched on certain variables that investigators feel should be controlled, have been contrasted.

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