Date of Award

1976

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Robert A. Williams

Second Advisor

Mercedes H. Dyer

Third Advisor

Robert J. Cruise

Abstract

Problem. The personality of employees is a vital key to understanding and improving the present correctional system. It was the purpose of the present study to assess, describe, and analyze a selected group of state correctional employees.

Method. The Bipolar Psychological Inventory and several demographic questions were used in assessing the personality of correctional employees and inmates. Cattell's Coefficient of Pattern Similarity (rp) was employed to measure and analyze several characteristics of correctional employee sub-groups. Three hundred sixty-three employees and four hundred forty-eight inmates were studied.

Results. Among the most important results obtained were indications of significant relationships between the personality of: correctional employees and inmates (rp= -.980 at p= .01), custody and treatment staff (rp= -.797 at p= .01), male and female officers (rp= -.390 at p= .01), and black and white officers (rp= -.557 at p= .01). Significant relationships were also found to exist between various sub-groups measuring the personality of correctional employees and such demographic factors as: marital status, number of children, level of formal education, and length of correctional service.

Conclusions. Contrary to some earlier study reports, correctional employees in this study indicate basically healthy personalities while inmates do not. Treatment staff tend to exhibit better psychological adjustment than custody staff. Correctional employees tend to be somewhat defensive and over-controlled, but do not generally exhibit abnormal levels of hostility. A strong relationship does seem to exist between healthy personality and increasing levels of formal education. As correctional employees' careers become extended, their personality profile moves in the direction of poorer psychological adjustments.

Subject Area

Correctional personnel--Indiana, Prisons--Indiana--Officials and employees.

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