The aim of this article is to present the theoretical assumptions, psychometric
properties and the practical applications behind the Non-adaptive Convictions
Scale (henceforth SPUAS from the Polish Skala Przekonań Utrudniających
Adaptację Społeczną), as used in the diagnosis and analysis of socially maladjusted
minors’ main convictions concerning themselves, the world and their own future.
A clear tendency has been observed for many years now indicating a permanently
high level of violent crime involving minors and juveniles. The lowering of the
legal age of criminal liability has not improved the situation but has, in turn, created
another problem: namely that of how minors, who potentially have a greater
chance of returning to society than adult criminals, should be treated and rehabilitated
effectively. The article draws attention to the need to change the direction of
searching for effective methods of working with underage criminals. According
Walters (1990) the thinking style of minors should be analyzed and changed step
by step. Any change in behaviour is strictly connected with a cognitive change. Socially
maladjusted juveniles present dysfunctional thinking patterns about themselves,
the world and other people with whom they engage in social interaction.
The criminal thinking style must be rebuild into more adaptive one.
Key words: the social adaptation of minors, a new tool, cognitive system, criminal
thinking style, social rehabilitation process