Criminal Narratives of Mentally Disordered Offenders: An Exploratory Study

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Spruin, Elizabeth ; Canter, David V. ; Youngs, Donna E. ; Coulston, Belinda (2014)

The study explored the personal narratives of Mentally Disordered Offenders (MDOs) and the impact various mental disorders had on the structure of the offenders’ criminal narratives. Seventy adult male offenders who were sectioned under the United Kingdom’s Mental Health Act 2007 were recruited for the study. Participants were provided with a 36 item Criminal Narrative Role Questionnaire. Smallest Space Analysis found four criminal narrative themes (Victim, Revenger, Hero, Professional), which indicated clear distinctions in the narrative experience of MDOs. The major differences were found to be related to the vulnerability of the offender’s mental disorder.
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