Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Keith Checketts


A method generated by psychophysics has been used to develop a Checklist consisting of 58 life-events that require varying degrees of readjustment on the part of adolescents experiencing them.

A very high degree of concordance was found to exist among psychologists, social workers and probation officers with regard to the relative value of life-change required by those events.

Information about the occurrence of the amount of life-change was subsequently gathered from a sample of 334 juvenile delinquents and 104 nondelinquents by administering the Checklist. A measure of the degree of severity of delinquency was also obtained for each delinquent subject.

The magnitude of life-change experienced by the delinquent sample was found to be highly significantly related to the severity of delinquency and to types of delinquency. The greater the magnitude of life-change, the greater the severity of delinquency, and the more severe the type of delinquency, the greater the amount of experienced life-change.

Partially specific relationships were also found with regard to life-events and categories of events. Forty-six of the 58 life-events were found to have discriminatory value for at least one of the four major types of delinquency. Additionally, status-offenders were found to be more similar to nondelinquents than to delinquents with respect to the kinds of life-events which affect them.

Other types of delinquents were not significantly differentiated by categories of life-events.



Included in

Psychology Commons