Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Correctional personnel -- Iowa -- Attitudes, Juvenile corrections -- Iowa


The purpose of this quantitative study is to examine the attitudes and orientations of juvenile justice personnel from four urban counties within the state of Iowa. The nonrandom sample used in the present study is secondary and originally collected for a larger study conducted by Leiber (1993). A closed-ended, self-report survey was administered to each respondent. The total sample for the present research is 263. The hypotheses guiding the present study are based on the assumption that women experience religion differently from men, and in turn, will blame society for youth crime and favor orientations supporting diversion.

Carol Gilligan (1982) theorized women are more likely to ascribe to a "morality of care," and men are more likely to adhere to a "morality of justice." Thompson (1991) also theorized the greater women's religious involvement, the more congruent their lives are with the mom/homemaker role. Grasmick and McGill (1994) found the effects of biblical literalness are absorbed by dispositional attributions, which in tum, predict punitive attitudes among a male sample of the general public.

As a result, the objective of this study is to assess whether the relationships observed by Grasmick and McGill (1994) hold when separating out for gender and what role, if any, crime attribution has with biblical literalness and attitudes towards punitiveness and rehabilitation. The anticipated interaction between biblical literalness and societal attribution with diversion was not found among female juvenile justice personnel. However, results did indicate female juvenile justice personnel who take the Bible literally and blame the person are less likely to support diversion. The findings have implications for the equitable treatment of youth and policies that emphasize punitiveness while neglecting support for rehabilitation.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Mike J. Leiber, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 115 leaves ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Criminology Commons