Psychology

Personality and Gender as Predictor of Coping of Suspects in Police Custody

Personality and Gender as Predictor of Coping of Suspects in Police Custody

ABSTRACT

The psychology of personality is a very broad topic, to which people have taken diverse theoretical approaches (McAdams & Olson 20 I 0). Personality is easy to observe but hard to pin down. According to Allport (1961), personality is the dynamic organization within the person of the psychological and physical systems that underlie that person’s patterns of actions, thoughts, and feelings. What dynamics are assumed, however, and what systems are proposed to underlie those dynamics vary greatly across theoretical viewpoints. Evidences have pointed to the robustness of personality traits in explanation of subjective well-being (Costa, & McCrae, 1998; David & Suls, 1999). This has been admitted and applied in psychology, sociology and management (Clayson & Sheffect, 2006). The Five Factor Model (Costa & McCrae, 1989) has been widely used in investigating the role of personality on life satisfaction. These factors of personality traits are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openness to experience and conscientiousness. Extroversion focuses mainly on quantity and intensity of relationship (Dneve & Cooper, 1998). Extraverted individuals tend to be sociable, gregarious and assertive (Costa & McCrae, 1992). They are prone to reward in interpersonal relationship (Watson & Clark, 1997), and are predisposed to experience positive emotion (Costa & McCrea, 1992). Agreeable individuals are friendly and cooperative. Related behaviours include being flexible, trusting, forgiving and tolerant (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Associated behaviours of conscientious individual include being careful, thorough, responsible, organized and achievement-oriented (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Openness to experience describes imaginative and carouse tendencies. Highly open people are original, cultured, broadminded and intelligent (McCaer & Costa, 1986). Individuals high in neuroticism experience more negative life event than others (Magnus, Diener, Fujita, & Pavot, 1993). Related behaviours are being anxious, depressed, emotional, worries and insecure.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The psychology of personality is a very broad topic, to which people have taken diverse theoretical approaches (McAdams & Olson 20 I 0). Personality is easy to observe but hard to pin down. According Allport (1961), personality is the dynamic organization within the person of the psychological and physical systems that underlie that person’s patterns of actions, thoughts, and feelings. What dynamics are assumed, however, and what systems are proposed to underlie those dynamics vary greatly across theoretical viewpoints.

Evidences have pointed to the robustness of personality traits in explanation of subjective well-being (Costa, & McCrae, 1998; David & Suls, 1999). This has been admitted and applied in psychology, sociology and management (Clayson & Sheffect, 2006). The Five Factor Model ((Costa & McCrae, 1989) has been widely used in investigating the role of personality on life satisfaction. These factors of personality traits are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openness to experience and conscientiousness. Extroversion focuses mainly on quantity and intensity of relationship (Dneve & Cooper, 1998). Extraverted individuals tend to be sociable, gregarious and assertive (Costa & McCrae, 1992). They are prone to reward in interpersonal relationship (Watson & Clark, 1997), and are predisposed to experience positive emotion (Costa & McCrea, 1992). Agreeable individuals are friendly and cooperative. Related behaviors includes being flexible, trusting, forgiving and tolerant (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Associated behaviours of conscientious individual includes being careful, thorough, responsible, organized and achievement-oriented (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Openness to experience describes imaginative and carouse tendencies. Highly open people are original, cultured, broadminded and intelligent (McCaer & Costa, 1986). Individuals high in neuroticism experience more negative life event than others (Magnus, Diener, Fujita, & Pavot, 1993). Related behaviours are being anxious, depressed, emotional, worries and insecure.

Broadly speaking, personality and temperament all refers to characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours over time and across situations. Although temperament often refers to traits reflecting predominantly biological predispositions, while personality is traits influenced by environmental factors. Coping has also been described as “personality in action under stress” (Bolger, 1990, p. 525), therefore, personality and gender coping among suspects is the ability of male gender or female suspects to cope under stress when in police custody.

Numerous models have been used to describe the structure of coping, with distinctions between problem- and emotion-focused coping, engagement (approach, active) and disengagement (avoidant) coping, and primary (assimilative) and secondary (accommodative) control coping the most widely used (Compas et al., 2001, and Skinner, Edge, Altman, & Sherwood, 2003). Modern coping research shows that coping involves all the strategies which are used by individual to overcome stress. This begins with the distinction between problem-focused coping, intended to influence the source of stress, and emotion-focused coping, intended to minimize negative emotions through strategies such as emotional expression, support seeking, and avoidance (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). The engagement–disengagement distinction focuses on orientation toward or away from stress, with engagement coping involving active attempts to manage a situation or associated emotions, and disengagement coping involving distancing oneself from the stressor or related feelings. The distinction between primary and secondary control coping emphasizes coping goals, with primary control coping geared toward changing the stressor or related emotions through strategies such as problem solving or emotion regulation and secondary control coping used to facilitate adaptation to stress through strategies such as acceptance or cognitive restructuring (Rothbaum, Weisz, & Snyder, 1982). Evidence has shown that those in police custody face challenges of not being well fed, restricted movement and lack of enough space in their various prison or cell during their custody in the hands of the police force. These challenges have made it so difficult for suspects to really cope while in police custody. It is on this note that this study sort to investigate the influence of gender and personality on coping of suspects in police custody in Anambra state.

Statement of the Problem

The bulk of the literature on relations between personality and coping is based on broad, dispositional measures of coping, which are prone to reporting biases and do not reflect the transactional nature of stress and coping. It has being predicted, that broad coping measures obscured more complex relations between personality and coping. In the realm of emotion-focused coping, controlled emotion regulation strategies (e.g., relaxation) showed have shown a very different pattern of relations to personality than did negative emotion-focused coping strategies (e.g., venting), and supporting calls to distinguish more carefully between aspects of emotion-focused coping. One of the few studies assessing relations between personality facets and coping (Bishop, Tong, Diong, Enkelmann, & Why, 2001) suggests that personality facets also indicate the achievement striving and deliberation facets of coping more strongly and which predicted problem solving than did competence, order facets, and the self-discipline. According to Bishop et al ,(2001),problems inherent to retrospective self-report of coping may partly explain why the direct effects of personality on coping, and the differences between effects for dispositional and situation specific. Most suspect in custody of the police have faced a lot of stressful condition such as unkempt cell condition, inadequate feeding, in human torture and restriction of their freedom are various areas which suspects in custody of the police face difficulties. Some of the suspect may cope by keeping to themselves, being open and keeping their mind away from the situation is a means which is used to enable suspect endeavours to cope. Some researcher have failed to adequately ascertain the nature of suspect coping personality and how gender predict coping among suspects. Based on this , the study tend to examine the influence of gender and personality on coping of suspects in police custody in Anambra state.

Research Question

The following research questions are posed to guild the study as follows:

Would personality predicts coping among suspects in police custody?
would gender predict coping among suspects in police custody?
Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study is to examine gender and personality as a predictor of coping of suspects in police custody in Anambra state. Specifically the objective of this study are:-

  1. To determine whether personality will predict coping among suspects in police custody.

2. To determine whether gender will predict coping among suspects in police custody.

Relevance of the Study

The study will be of benefit to Nigerian force and custodian of the Law in Anambra state and Nigeria as a whole. It will enable them see how and why most of the suspect are involved in criminal activities and how suspect personalities help suspects to cope with their situation under police custody. The study will also help Nigeria police force to know the gender which are more likely to be involved in crime and the reason for that. The study will be of benefit to suspect as the findings will help them see why they have to avoid being involved in crime. It will also serve as source of research material and reference for fellow researchers.

Scope of the Study

The scope of the study will be covering gender and personality as predators of copying of suspects in police custody. In term of geographical location, the study covers only Anambra state and narrowed to Awka the state capital.

Contextual Definition Of key study variables

Personality: This refers to extrovets and introverts as measured by Eyseneck personality questionnaire( adult) (1975).

Gender: this refers to social status of being male or female as measured by demographic schedule.

Coping: is a process by which persons face stressfull situations. Coping is often defined as effort to prevent or diminish threat, harm and loss ot to reduce associated distress as measured by 30 item uni- model coping inventory by Kohn, O’Brien wood, Pickering and Decicco(2003).



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