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Nigerian Journal of Psychiatry

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Personality Traits among Inmates of Aba Prison in Nigeria: Influence of the Five Factor Model on Inmate Status and type of Offences

SK Mosaku, A Akinsulore, IJ Onwuchekwa, OI Ibigbami, FO Fatoye

Abstract


Background: Personality traits are the basic elements in the study of personality and it influences decision making by affecting our choices about whether to engage in different behaviours. Knowledge of the different personality traits among prison inmate is useful as it will assists in the development of interventions and strategies that target people with specific trait profiles so as to maximize their effectiveness in changing behaviour.
Aim: To assess the personality traits of inmates in Aba prison
Methods: Four hundred and six inmates were studied. Each inmate completed a semi-structured sociodemographic questionnaire and personality traits were assessed with the 44-item Big Five Inventory.
Results: The majority (72.7%) of the inmates were within the age range of 21 - 40 years . The personality trait with the highest mean score was openness while neuroticism had the lowest mean score. A large proportion of the inmates were awaiting trial (94.6%) while only few were convicted inmates (5.4%). The most common type of offence among the inmate was armed robbery (34.0%), followed by stealing, murder and assault (29.6%, 17.0% and 15.0 respectively) while rape and kidnapping were the least common offence (0.5% and 0.2% respectively). The convicted inmates reported significant higher mean scores on extraversion and agreeableness than the awaiting trial inmates. There were significant differences in all Big Five personality domain scores in the different inmate's charges using ANOVA except in neuroticism.
Conclusion: The findings of high extraversion and agreeableness traits among Nigerian convicted inmates and significant differences in personality trait of the different inmate charges open up new opportunities for further research



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