Development and validation of a Measure of Criminal Social Identity within a sample of Polish recidivistic prisoners

Daniel Boduszek, Gary Adamson, Mark Shevlin, Philip Hyland

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Social identity is a well-established theoretical concept within psychological research; however, the role of criminal social identity has received far less research attention. One salient reason for the limited research relating to the concept of criminal social identity is the absence of a specific measure.

To develop and test the construct validity of a new measure of criminal social identity (MCSI) and to provide additional evidence relating to Cameron's three-factor conceptualisation of social identity.

The eight-item MCSI was used to collect data from recidivists incarcerated in high-security prison (N = 312) to assess criminal social identification. These data were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis.

Three alternative models of criminal social identity were specified and tested in Mplus 6, and results revealed that the data were best explained by a three-factor model of criminal social identity (cognitive centrality, in-group affect and in-group ties).

The current study is important in terms of future research in criminology and psychology because the MCSI provides the first reliable MCSI, which was developed and validated on a relatively large recidivistic prison sample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315–324
Number of pages10
JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Issue number5
Early online date28 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


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