Attitudes towards mentally disordered offenders

Ashworth, Sarah (2017) Attitudes towards mentally disordered offenders. DForenPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img] PDF (Attitudes Towards Mentally Disordered Offenders) (Thesis - as examined) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (2MB)



This thesis provides an investigation into the assessment of attitudes towards mentally disordered offenders. Attention is paid to the adaptation and application

of a psychometric instrument designed to measure attitudes towards this population. The aim is to facilitate attitude improvement of those responsible for the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of mentally disordered offenders.


The range of methods employed to explore this topic include a systematic review, psychometric critique, and two primary empirical research studies.


The systematic review yielded 534 publications, seven of which were reviewed.

Three instruments assessing attitudes towards prisoners were identified. This was followed by a critique of the most widely used psychometric; the Attitudes Toward Prisoners scale (Melvin, Gramling, & Gardener, 1985). Based upon this, the first empirical study validates an adapted version of the scale; Attitudes Towards Mentally Disordered Offenders scale (ATMDO). Analysis demonstrates a three factor structure, robust reliability (internal consistency and test-retest reliability) and validity. Between groups attitudinal differences are explored and a model is presented. In the second empirical research study the ATMDO demonstrates significant correlation of scores on factor one (Treatment) and three (Risk) with observed negative behaviours of staff members in forensic mental health settings.


The ATMDO has robust psychometric properties and demonstrates the potential for application assessing attitudes towards mentally disordered offenders within clinical settings. Findings can inform interventions targeted at staff members to improve their attitudes towards this population. Subsequently avoiding future potential for harm, improving care, treatment, and rehabilitation of mentally disordered offenders.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DForenPsy)
Supervisors: Tully, R.J.
Browne, K.
Keywords: Attitudes, Mentally disordered offenders, Forensic, Staff
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WM Psychiatry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 44760
Depositing User: Ashworth, Sarah
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 09:01

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View