Evaluering af Det Kognitive Færdighedsprogram: En analyse af kausal effekt og underliggende sociale mekanismer

Nichlas Permin Berger, Jacob Brauner

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportForskning

610 Downloads (Pure)


This thesis is the result of a contract between the authors and the governmental institution, the prison and probations service (Direktoratet for Kriminalforsorgen) that is responsible for managing all Danish prisons.

In a critical realistic perspective this thesis evaluates Danish prisoner participation in the Cognitive-Skills Program as it is being used in Denmark (Det Kognitive Færdighedsprogram). The program’s central assumption is that by strengthening the cognitive skills of the participants, it will lower the probability that a participant will relapse into new crime after completing the prison sentence by obtaining and improving cognitive competencies. It is assumed that by acquiring and improving cognitive competencies, it will provide an opportunity to create a better life value with a less confronting and aggressive attitude among the participants to ease social relations to staff in the legal system, family, peers e.g.

Bought in 1994 the program has been used ever since in Denmark, but no quantitative researchbased effect analysis has ever been made in the Danish context. Previous research from other countries does show a positive effect on lowering recidivism, though, varying between 10 and 30%. There have been a few qualitative studies of the program in Denmark, within different theoretical frameworks.

The thesis consists of a quantitative and a qualitative part combined using a critical realistic perspective. As a specific analytic perspective on the available data a positivistic view is used on the quantitative data and a phenomenological perspective is used on the qualitative data.
A causal effect analysis using the propensity score matching method is done as the quantitative part of the analysis, and the main purpose here is to analyze the effects of participation on recidivism using a 2-year period of measurement. The effect analysis is based on people who have received unsuspended sentences, consisting of a treatment group of 191 participants of the program and a control group of 14427 non-participants.

The quantitative inquiry is supplemented by a qualitative inquiry using program collected survey data, interviews from a previous Danish qualitative research paper and interviews with a program instructor and the program leader, to examine the content of social mechanisms leading to conform and non-conform behavior, e.g. criminal behavior, and possibilities that participation can affect the results of those mechanisms. We examine the participant’s experiences with the program and how they perceive it in a social learning perspective (Ronald Akers and a perspective of habitus by Pierre Bourdieu). A broad grand theory perspective on social interaction developed by Pierre Bourdieu and a middle range theory on crime and deviance developed by Ronald Akers are combined to examine the social mechanisms at a theoretical level. The thesis thereby investigates how the social structure and their individual means of action may influence the lives of the participants and their criminal tendencies through these social mechanisms.

The thesis concludes that an effect of participation cannot be confirmed. Hence, the mechanisms involved have been found to be weak and going in directions of a both more conforming and a more deviant behavior, often neutralizing the effect of participation.
ForlagSociologisk institut, Københavns Universitet
Antal sider149
StatusUdgivet - 2010


  • sociologi
  • evaluering
  • kausalitet
  • det kognitive færdighedsprogram
  • kritisk realisme
  • Propensity Score