This study has the purpose to analyze characteristics of female crimes by employing clinical psychological methods to put the light on factors which may sometimes be passed over when applying statistical approaches. Based on the idiographic method, individual interviews to obtain life history and motives for committing crimes, etc. as well as Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) are utilized as tools for the clinical approach.
By defining crime as one of specific behaviours in which particular person release oneself from the tension when faced with a psychological crisis, the following questions are here discussed;
1. whether there are some patterns of psychological crisis in life specific for female in committing crimes,
2. if any, what are those patterns, and
3. whether there are given relations between those patterns and types or behaviours of crime.
As the first step, the preparatory research was conducted by giving TAT (Murray’s Harvard edition) and individual interviews to twenty-three newly convicted female prisoners. Methods for analysis are indicated in Table I. Regarding the crisis, the following categories were obtained from the TAT results;
I. those responses with themes of aggressive self-image such as vampire or madwoman and themes of death (N=3),
II. those responses with themes of constricted self-image or harmed body-image such as gohst, humpback and maimed persons (N=4),
III. those responses with cleare themes of separation and deprivation (N=3),
IV. those responses with themes of extraordinary phenomena in outer world such as landslide and flood, in which cases, the fear that the self would be collapsed with the outer world is often revealed (N=5),
V. those responses with extremely poor themes in productivity (N=4), and
VI. those responses difficult to be categorized (N=4).
Among the above categories, in connection with types and behaviours of crime, II and IV have close relations with proleptic-confirmed and delayed-first female criminals respectively, especially, category IV can be thought to be female’s specific responses at the crucial moment compared with male’s TAT responses previously obtained by the author.
The second research places the focus on comparisons between TAT responses to crucial scenes by proleptic-confirmed female offenders (residivist whose criminal careers are traced back to the period of teens-Group PC, N=8) and those by delayedfirst female offenders (the first offense is committed after the age of thirty-five-Group DF, N=9). Methods taken here are same as in the preparatory research and Table III shows the method for TAT analysis. The following results were obtained;
Female criminals in Group PC project distorted self-images on every TAT card in significantly large number (χ2=5.24, p<0.025), while those in Group DF respond to the latter half series of TAT cards with the theme that the existence of self is thoroughly destroyed by extraordinary phenomena (χ2=2.85, p<0.1).
In concluding from the results obtained, it is observed that specific patterns of psychological crisis which make female commit crimes can be the crisis of identity symbolized in the perception that the self would be vanished or sucked down, and that the crisis of this sort appears to have close relations with the crime committed through crisis during the period of middle age. It can further be described that at middle age in the life cycle, females would face again with the identity crisis experienced during their puberty. Serious tension in female when confronted with this crisis sometimes becomes the incentive to commit crime. Some types of crimes committed by the middle aged, therefore, seem to be crimes specific for women. Findings from the present research should further be examined by increasing data and also employing various methods for analysis.
As delinquency is a concept of law, delinquents as a group are not homogeneous. Hence, it is desirable to divide delinquents into homogeneous subgroups for research and practical works. For this purpose, many theories have been presented, but most of them are based on typology with methodological weakness.
H.C. Quay and his coworkers have published a dimensional classification method (4 dimensions are psychopathic type, neurotic type, immature type and subcultural type). It is based on behavior theory with use of multivariate analysis. The method is useful for our classification at the Juvenile Classification Homes, since it has reasonable supports from a theory of measurement, and data are collected from three sources, that is, test method, behavior observation method and interview method. The author have remodelled this useful method by giving it statistical and theoretical considerations, so that it becomes applicable to the Japanese youth.
Subject: 98 boys, aged 15 years to 19 years old, who were detained at Tsu Juvenile Classification Home.
Result: The original method was translated into Japanese and after selection of items on the basis of cultural difference, the items were statistically analysed. Finally, 10 items for each scale of the test method and behavior observation method with total of 60 items and 5 items for each scale of the interview method were chosen to form new scales. Although these scales contain fewer items than the original method, they have as much high internal consistency and reliability. Thus, the original method has been remodelled and become applicable to the Japanese youth, but part of its measurement, especially for the test method, it has unstable reliability which requires further consideration.
This is a summary of the above examination which was done in cooperation with my colleague, Mr. Tatsuhiko Sugimoto. We wrote the summary, laying emphasis on psychological tests.
Considering the results of social research and psychological tests synthetically, we found no symptom of mental detective, psychosis, etc. on the defendant, but deviation of his character large. We therefore judge that he is psychopath.