In this study, we first attempt to introduce D.W.Winnicott’s theories of delinquency, from perspective of psychoanalytic, especially British object-relationship theory. Secondly we also attempt to examine psychological correlates between parental images and various psychological scales with juvenile delinquents, compared with normal adolescents, on the basis of Winnicott’s theories.
Winnicott discussed occurrences of delinquency, with relation to deprivations from development-facilitating environments (mother’s love), and he asserted that children’s delinquency was expression of their ‘hope’ to develop.
Furthermore, he discussed delinquent adolescents. He thought that adolescents should experience apathetic and depressive periods of ‘doldrums’ , which similar to such maternal deprivations, and during that periods they should be incapable to identify themselves with their parents as they were in childhood, therefore they use delinquency (stealing and violence) for escape from ‘doldrum’.
We investigated 115 delinquent adolescents ( DA ; 84 boys and 31 girls) taken in the juvenile classification home and 479 normal junior and junior high school students (NA), assessed on measures including Parental Style Scale (PSS), Children’s Depression Inventory(CDI), Trait-Anxiety Scale(TAS) , Lonliness Scale (LS) and Hopeless Scale (HS). Results show that DA, compared with NA, especially girls, significantly have higher scores on CDI and TAS. That indicates delinquent adolescents experience severe ‘doldrums’. And DA’s parental images are more invading, operating and less affectionate on PSS.
Furthermore, there are sex differences with correlates between parental images (PSS) and thier ‘doldrum’ (CDI, TAS. LS. HS) within DA, and so it revealed that thier same-sex parent’s image doesn’t work facilitating function on their ego-developments.