Measuring self-serving cognitive distortions with the "how I think" questionnaire

  • Nas C
  • Brugman D
  • Koops W
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the reliability and validity of the How I Think Questionnaire (HIT-Q), a paper-and-pencil instrument that measures self-serving, cognitive distortions. Our main hypothesis was that delinquent adolescents incarcerated in high-security juvenile correctional facilities in the Netherlands would show a higher level of cognitive distortion than their nondelinquent peers. A total of 311 delinquent and 142 nondelinquent male adolescents participated in the study. The Dutch version of the HIT-Q showed acceptable reliability and validity. Delinquent adolescents exhibited more cognitive distortions than nondelinquent adolescents. However, in contrast to the original North American version of the HIT-Q, the relationship with moral judgment was inconclusive and a correlation with intelligence was found. Both delinquent and nondelinquent young people with lower levels of education scored in the borderline-clinical range on several types of cognitive distortions. These results seem to imply that cognitive distortions are much more prevalent in nondelinquent pupils with lower levels of education than expected. Further research into cognitive distortions in nondelinquent adolescents is proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Cognitive distortions
  • Delinquency
  • HIT-Q

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