Object–Color Stroop Task to Assess Selective Attention in “True” and “Legally Considered” Juvenile Delinquents

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Research Article

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Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology


The present study compared selective attention processing among juvenile delinquents of two different citizenships and matched control groups. The sample consisted of 70 “true” juvenile delinquents (Indian citizen—charged for theft, rape or murder), 54 “legally considered” delinquents (Bangladesh citizens—charged only with illegal immigration), and 70 matched control group of Indian citizens. They were tested on object–color Stroop task designed specifically with objects typically found in South Asia. Results show that participants had taken less time in typical condition (for example, red color of red apple) compared to atypical condition (blue color of red apple). This behavioral characteristic is more specifically present in Bangladeshi delinquents and non-delinquent controls, while Indian delinquents are different from both on this measure. Demographic variables also have an influence on performance. Differences in selective attention processing were found between “true” and “legally considered” juvenile delinquents. Furthermore, the age of participants also had an influence on performance. These findings together suggest establishment of separate observation homes for juvenile delinquents. Furthermore, this is the first study to test response modulation hypothesis among offenders with psychopathic traits in an Asian country.

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