Measuring criminal thinking styles: The construct validity and utility of the PICTS in a Dutch prison sample
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011
2009 The British Psychological Society
Legal and Criminological Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 35–49, February 2009
How to Cite
Bulten, E., Nijman, H. and van der Staak, C. (2009), Measuring criminal thinking styles: The construct validity and utility of the PICTS in a Dutch prison sample. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 14: 35–49. doi: 10.1348/135532507X255368
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011
- Received 16 March 2007; revised version received 12 October 2007
Purpose. Criminal thinking and thinking styles are important areas in the assessment and treatment of offenders. The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS: Walters, 2005) is designed to assess such criminal thinking styles. In the current study, the associations between criminal thinking styles on the one hand, and criminal histories, personality traits, and mental disorders of Dutch prisoners on the other, were explored. The aim is to test the reliability and construct validity of the PICTS in a population of male Dutch detainees.
Methods. A sample of 191 randomly selected male prisoners of a large Dutch correctional institution were assessed by means of the PICTS, NEO-PI-R, and the MINI psychiatric interview. Prison inmates with very severe psychiatric symptoms and severe disruptive behaviours were excluded.
Results. The psychometric qualities of the PICTS were found to be fair-to-good. The construct validity of the PICTS was supported by various convergent results with the criminal antecedents of the offenders, as well as with the scores on the scales measuring personality traits and psychiatric disorders.
Conclusions. The associations between criminal thinking styles on the one hand and personality traits, antisocial personality disorder, and mental disorders on the other were rather strong. The current results suggest that the PICTS may be a valid and useful tool for assessing criminal thinking styles.