Valenty, Logan (2018). I am not a crook: The stigma of a criminal record. 2018 Add Health Users Conference.
The criminal justice system has the power to legitimize a criminal record and in the process stigmatize a criminal. Drawing on self-stigma theory, this study examines the impact of a criminal record on psychological functioning using data from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Through the use of ordinary least squares regression, this study will attempt to answer three research questions. First, do respondents with a criminal record have lower self-esteem than those without a criminal record? Second, among respondents with a criminal record, does self-esteem vary depending upon the stigma classification? The erroneous stigma consists of respondents who maintain their innocence; while, the discredited stigma consists of respondents who admit their guilt. Third, among respondents with a criminal record, does self-esteem vary depending upon parental socioeconomic status? The outcome self-esteem is measured with a four item scale (Î±=0.77). The results confirm that a criminal record negatively impacts self-esteem (p<.01). Also, respondents with an erroneous stigma report higher self-esteem than those with a discredited stigma (p<.05). Further analysis will assess the effects of a criminal record – depending upon gender, race, and parental socioeconomic status – on self-esteem.
2018 Add Health Users Conference
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