Abstract The main aim of the study was to examine the relationship between motivation for offending and personality (both primary traits and Eysenck’s super-factors), anger problems, and attitudes towards offending. The Offending Motivation Questionnaire (OMQ) and a range of psychological measures were administered to 128 male youths who had been given a conditional discharge after a guilty plea. It was hypothesised that different types of motivation for the offence (Compliance, Provocation, Excitement and Financial) would be predicted by different psychological measures. The Excitement and Financial motives were most commonly endorsed. Each motivation factor had a specific relationship with personality as predicted. The findings support the view that there is a relationship between the motivation for offending and personality (particularly primary traits), anger and external attribution of blame for the offence. Compliance motive was associated with a compliant temperament and external attribution of blame. Angry disposition, as measured by the Novaco Anger Scale, was the strongest predictor across the Provocation, Excitement and Financial motives. Acting in the pursuit of self-interest and angry disposition are salient factors in offending.