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29-01-2016

Psychopathic Traits Mediate the Relationship Between Exposure to Violence and Violent Juvenile Offending

Auteurs: Arielle R. Baskin-Sommers, Deborah Baskin

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 3/2016

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Abstract

Exposure to violence (ETV) has emerged as a key and stable predictor of violent offending. However, not all youth offenders who experience ETV go on to chronic violent offending. Consequently, it is possible that individual differences, such as psychopathic traits, may be an important factor in the link between ETV and violent offending. These traits are associated with exposure to violence and, separately, to violent offending. The present study used data from Pathways to Desistance, a multisite, longitudinal study of serious juvenile offenders (N = 1170, Meanage = 16.05, SD = 1.16) to explore these relationships, simultaneously. First, autoregressive cross-lagged path models were used to examine the longitudinal bivariate relations among violent offending, ETV, and psychopathic traits. Second, latent class growth analysis was used to determine trajectories ETV. And third, the mediating influence of psychopathic traits was examined. Results indicated that ETV predicted later engagement in violence, but there was some degree of reciprocity between ETV and violence over time. Additionally, respondents with stable high or increasing trajectories of ETV reported more instances of violent offending. Finally, psychopathic traits mediated the relationship between ETV and violent offending. Together these findings support the notion that individuals with psychopathic traits perceive and internalize their environment differently than others and that this difference guides their own violent offending. Given the importance of psychopathic traits for understanding the influence of ETV on violent offending, prevention and intervention strategies must be developed that take into account both individual differences and environmental factors.
Voetnoten
1
We performed a group based trajectory analysis that demonstrated the linear stability of this measure over time, yielding three trajectory groups of psychopathic traits: low, moderate, and high.
 
2
Examination of the mediation model using time-averaged ETV, rather than trajectories, yielded similar results: (a) ETV predicted psychopathic traits (β = 3.60, p < .001), (b) psychopathic traits predicted violent offending behaviors after controlling for ETV (β = .001, p < .050), and (c) the relationship between ETV and violence was significantly reduced when psychopathic traits was included in the model (β = .055, p = .001). Additionally, using ETV at time point 1 to predict violent crimes at time point 5 yielded the same results as the primary mediation. Finally, separate mediation analyses were conducted with the respective ETV sub-scales (i.e., direct victimization and witnessing violence). Psychopathic traits mediated both direct victimization (95 % CI lower = .004, 95 % CI upper = .020) and witnessing community violence (95 % CI lower = .002, 95 % CI upper = .0072). The consistency across models, suggests that even when using the strictest definition of time-order related to mediation, ETV and violent offending were robustly related and that psychopathic traits mediated that relationship.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Psychopathic Traits Mediate the Relationship Between Exposure to Violence and Violent Juvenile Offending
Auteurs
Arielle R. Baskin-Sommers
Deborah Baskin
Publicatiedatum
29-01-2016
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment / Uitgave 3/2016
Print ISSN: 0882-2689
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3505
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-016-9535-0

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