VALIDATING AN INDIGENOUS SCALE MEASURING NEUTRALIZATION TECHNIQUES AMONG CHINESE JUVENILE THIEVES1,2

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Abstract

Despite a large number of studies with Western samples on neutralization among juvenile offenders, similar investigations on this phenomenon in Chinese society are lacking. This paper aims to fill this gap in the literature by constructing a scale to measure the use of neutralization during offenses by Chinese juvenile offenders. A scale consisting of 13 items falling under 3 subscales, with a Cronbach's alpha ranging from .48 to .73 was used in a survey interview of 200 Chinese juveniles (95 boys, 105 girls; M age = 13.6 yr., range = 10-17) who had been arrested by the police for commission of theft. The data highlight the importance of not only developing and validating a measurement of neutralization specific to the offense and the offender, but also discussing individual differences among respondents in terms of their application of neutralization.

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