It was not me: attribution of blame for criminal acts in psychiatric offenders

M J. Cima*, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach, C. Butt, K. Kremer, E. Knauer, R. Schellbach-Matties

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Web of Science)


The current article addresses the psychometric qualities of the German Version of Gudjonsson's Blame Attribution Inventory (GBAI), a self-report scale for measuring attribution of blame for crime. The GBAI was administered to a criminal sample of forensic and criminal inmates (n = 107). Findings indicate that the German version of the Gudjonsson's Blame Attribution Inventory possesses acceptable test-retest stability and good internal consistency. Factor analysis reproduced the three basic dimensions of the GBAI external attribution, mental-element attribution, and guilt-feeling attribution. Forensic patients had higher mental-element attribution and guilt-feeling attribution scores than the prison inmates. Interestingly, sexual offenders who were prisoners, showed the lowest guilt-feeling attribution, while sexual offenders who were forensic patients had the highest guilt-feeling attribution scores. Since earlier research reported a tendency of faking good in sexual offenders, we suggest that the forensic sexual offenders may demonstrate a social desirable response tendency in an attempt to gain sympathy and/or earlier parole. All in all, our data show that the German version of the GBAI is a valuable tool for measuring attributional styles of offenders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-147
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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