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28-05-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 10/2018

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10/2018

A Prospective, Longitudinal Examination of the Influence of Childhood Home and School Contexts on Psychopathic Characteristics in Adolescence

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 10/2018
Jacqueline Horan Fisher, Joshua L. Brown


Much of the existing research examining etiological contributors to psychopathic characteristics considers only biological and physiological deficits, with little consideration given to contextual factors that may play a role in their development. This prospective, longitudinal study examined the influence of childhood home and school environments on adolescent psychopathic characteristics among 390 youth (50.5% female; 46.2% Black/African American, 44.9% Hispanic/Latino, 6.9% Asian or Native American/Alaska Native, and 2.1% Non-Hispanic White). Specifically, this study examined (1) the effect of home chaos and poor parental monitoring on adolescent primary and secondary psychopathy and callous-unemotional traits through the lens of multiple reporters, and (2) whether classroom climate quality across three years of childhood moderated these relationships. The results indicated that delinquency and home chaos in childhood were related to primary psychopathy in adolescence and that exposure to higher quality classroom climates across childhood acted as a buffer by mitigating the negative relationship between parental monitoring in childhood and secondary psychopathy in adolescence. These findings have implications for designing interventions to mitigate the manifestation of youth psychopathy.

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