The Role of Exposure to Violence and Psychopathy on Violent Crime Perpetration
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment | Uitgave 2/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
Exposure to violence strongly predicts violent behavior. However, not all individuals who are exposed to violence engage in violent behavior. Personality is one factor that influences the translation from exposure to violence to engagement in violent behavior. Previous research in adolescents showed that psychopathy (a personality disorder) mediated the relationship between exposure to violence and violent behavior. However, this research has not: been conducted in adults, despite evidence of instability in exposure to violence and psychopathy across the lifespan; examined the specificity of this relationship to different expressions of psychopathy, such as subcomponent Factors and primary/secondary subtypes; and, considered other environmental experiences that may impact this relationship. In two samples of adults (community [N = 232] and prison [N = 313]), psychopathy affected the relationship between exposure to violence and violence (community indirect effect = 0.03, SE = 0.02, 95% CI = 0.004, 0.07; prison indirect effect = 0.14, SE = 0.05, 95% CI = 0.05, 0.25). These effects appeared to be related more strongly to the impulsive-antisocial traits of psychopathy and the secondary (high-anxious) subtype of psychopathy. Results were robust against demographic and other environmental experiences. Ultimately, our findings indicate that psychopathy is an important factor affecting the link between exposure to violence and violent behavior.