Criminal attitudes and psychopathic personality attributes of youth gang offenders in Singapore
Gang-affiliated youth are responsible for a disproportionate amount of serious and violent offenses. However, there is scant focus on the psychological variables that could be important for treatment planning and program development. Awareness of these variables is important for treatment planning and program development and also, potentially, for understanding which youth may be attracted to gangs. This study compared the criminal attitudes and psychopathic personality attributes of gang- and nongang-affiliated youth offenders (N=168) residing in youth correctional institutions in Singapore. Multivariate analyses indicated that favorable attitudes toward gangs (ATG), violence, and criminal associates remained significantly associated with gang membership after accounting for favorable attitudes toward violence and criminal associates, as well as increased attitudes of entitlement and impulsive/irresponsible traits. These attitudes were likely to perpetuate gang affiliation and criminal behavior, and thus should be a focus for intervention and rehabilitation efforts.