|It was the purpose of this research to better understand the role of attachments and related clinical issues in relation to the development of criminality in late adolescence. This study involves designs comparing the youth at a maximum-security correctional facility versus controls matched on demographic variables using the Attachment and Clinical Issues Questionnaire (ACIQ). Within group data is also analyzed to study differences and similarities among the offenders.
Significant differences were found between the offenders and control group on attachment classifications as well as other clinical scales. Offenders are more likely than controls to have insecure attachments to their mother, father, and/or partner. They were also more likely than the controls to show a disorganized pattern in relation to an attachment figure. Some trends emerged within the offender population; however, offenders were found to be a heterogeneous group--even those who had similar criminal backgrounds. There are many new findings which are thought to have important implications in the treatment of adolescent offenders.