Cynicism among juvenile probation officers: A study of subverted ideals

Russell L. Curtis, William A. Reese, Michael Patrick Cone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Since Niederhoffer's pioneering work with police, much attention has been paid to cynicism in several criminal justice settings. This research has led to a concept of cynicism as multidimensional. Based on these research findings, this study investigated cynicism in a new setting-juvenile probation. The specific focus was cynicism toward the rehabilitative ideal in juvenile justice. The study found that professionalism and longevity had effects that were opposite to what has been found in other settings. Moreover, this study found that idealistic cynicism is independent of perceptions of procedural efficacy, delinquency etiology, and, importantly, JPO role performance. We take these results to be in keeping with a general conclusion that cynicism is a judgment that varies within and across settings, audiences, and philosophical ideals, which calls for continued research refined by greater appreciation of situational specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-517
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Cynicism among juvenile probation officers: A study of subverted ideals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this