U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Outcome Expectancies: An Important Link Between Substance Use and Crime? (From Advances in Psychology and Law, P 312-321, 1997, Santiago Redondo and Vicente Garrido, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-175532)

NCJ Number
M McMurran
Date Published
10 pages
This paper presents data from two British studies that examined alcohol-related "expectancies" held by samples of offenders.
"Outcome expectancies" are defined as "knowledge about the relationships between events, with an anticipatory 'if-then' component; that is, if a certain event is registered, then a certain event is expected to follow." Outcome expectancies are mediational mechanisms that operate to influence the independent variable. The first study presented in this paper involved male young offenders in Her Majesty's Young Offender Centre Glen Parva (McMurran, Hollin, and Williams). The second study involved sex- related alcohol expectancies in rapists, which was conducted in Rampton Hospital (McMurran and Bellfield, 1993). The findings from both studies show that alcohol outcome expectancies do differentiate offender groups. In the first study, offenders whose crimes were alcohol-related expected more global positive change, and those who offended against the person expected more positive social change. In the second study, rapists whose offenses were alcohol-related expected drinking to lead to risky behavior. Both research studies were conducted after the event, and drinking experiences change expectancies. It cannot be said, therefore, that these expectancies existed prior to offending; nevertheless, these expectancies may well predict future behavior after drinking, and alcohol outcome expectancies may be valid targets in interventions to reduce alcohol-related crime. 3 tables and 25 references