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Article Critique: Gendered Pathways: A Quantitative Investigation Of Women Probationers' Paths

1163 words - 5 pages

Article Critique

In research methodology, feminist scholars blamed qualitative studies which many times failed to bring out the realities of women’s lived experiences (Price & Sokoloff, 2004). Although these experiences are unfortunate common struggles for women offenders, there seemed to be limited research that explored how those struggles in women’s lives seemed to affect their likelihood of recidivism. At last, the “pathways” perspective, which investigates whether women have distinct pathways to initial crime and recidivism compared to men, is improved mainly by qualitative methodologies. In the current study: Gendered Pathways: A Quantitative Investigation of Women Probationers’ ...view middle of the document...

Data from the study were taken from the Women’s Needs and Risk Assessment Project, a large scale research which designed and validated a gender-responsive risk. Measures of women’s need were taken from a risk/needs assessment interview, and from a self report, paper and pencil survey completed individually which was designed to supplement the risk/needs assessment interview.

The results for the three hypothesized gendered pathways are as follow. Childhood Victimization Model: variables in this model included measures of victimization during childhood, history of mental illness, history of substance abuse, current depression/anxiety, dynamic substance abuse, and prison admission (Salisbury & Van Voorhis, 2009). Results showed that although childhood victimization was not related to prison admission, “women’s childhood traumas was related to major mental health problems”, especially the two independent variables depression/ anxiety and addictive behaviors which led to recidivism. The second model was a Relational Model: variables in this model included relationship dysfunction, adult victimization, self-efficacy, current depression/anxiety, dynamic substance abuse, and prison admission. Results revealed that self-efficacy, current depression/anxiety, and dynamic substance abuse were all significantly related with the admission to prison. Relationship dysfunction and adult victimization did not show correlations with recidivism. The Social and Human Capital Model: included the following variables; family support, educational strengths, relationship dysfunction, self-efficacy, employment/financial difficulties, and prison admission. Educational strengths, self-efficacy, and employment/financial difficulties were found to be significantly correlated with prison admission.

Salisbury and Van Voorhis (2009) concluded that the three pathways were supported and were similar to previous qualitative research. The first model, childhood victimization showed that although child abuse did not affect women’s recidivism, depression/anxiety and substance abuse caused by childhood victimization did lead to imprisonment. The relational model revealed that women who had “experienced painful, unsupportive and unsatisfying, intimate relationships” where they had no control of the relationship were at risk for continuous recidivism. Lastly, the social and human capital model showed that the way women lived had an effect on offending behavior. The path model analysis supports the fact that some women offenders may go along certain pathways which result in recidivism not typically seen in men offenders.

Salisbury and Van Voorhis (2009) stated that there is “mounting evidence to suggest that women have unique life experiences that create unconventional pathways to recidivism.” The data based on the three pathways determine various gender-responsive needs. The findings in this study were consistent with past research and literature....

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