Date of Conferral







Tom Diebold


White collar crime is pervasive with a larger financial impact to society than violent or street crime, yet it has been understudied. Violent and street offender research has moved beyond the examination of motive and opportunity to study personality, demographics, sociological influences, and psychological influences on development and criminal behavior; however, the bulk of white collar offender research has focused on greed as a motivator and organizational opportunity. Legislative efforts have attempted to curtail white collar crime, but incidents of crime continue to rise, resulting in a continued need to understand white collar offenders and the influences on offender behavior. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the multivariate difference between white collar offenders (n = 62) and business professionals (n = 121). Theoretically guided by the biopsychosocial model and prior empirical findings, 36 variables were univariately tested for group differences; 10 were significant and used in discriminant function analysis. White collar offenders tended to be female, have high neuroticism and alcohol abuse scores, and have low scores on narcissism and attribution. Drug use was positively correlated with the white collar offender profile, while income, openness, hostility, and anger were inversely related. The profile and correlates provide a deeper understanding of those who choose to cross legal and ethical lines. Positive social change could be realized through targeted collegiate business training programs to address risk characteristics and promote protective factors of ethics, integrity, and leadership.