A significant body of research underlines the link between the exposure to abuse in childhood and subsequent criminal behaviors. Research on the role played by childhood interpersonal trauma in the development of psychopathy, however, is still scant. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between childhood experiences of abuse and psychopathic traits in a group of violent offenders from Italy. Seventy-eight inmates who were convicted of violent crimes participated in this study. Participants were administered the Traumatic Experience Checklist to assess childhood experiences of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) to assess psychopathic traits. Almost two thirds of the participants reported either emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood, with 17% having experienced all 3 types of abuse investigated in this study. Emotional abuse resulted in a positive predictor of PCL-R total scores and its Interpersonal-Affective and Lifestyle-Antisocial factors. This suggests that emotional abuse in childhood, in combination with neurobiological and temperamental vulnerabilities, can foster the development of psychopathic traits. (PsycINFO Database Record

Abuse in childhood and psychopathic traits in a sample of violent offenders

SCHIMMENTI, ADRIANO;PASSANISI, ALESSIA;
2015

Abstract

A significant body of research underlines the link between the exposure to abuse in childhood and subsequent criminal behaviors. Research on the role played by childhood interpersonal trauma in the development of psychopathy, however, is still scant. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between childhood experiences of abuse and psychopathic traits in a group of violent offenders from Italy. Seventy-eight inmates who were convicted of violent crimes participated in this study. Participants were administered the Traumatic Experience Checklist to assess childhood experiences of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) to assess psychopathic traits. Almost two thirds of the participants reported either emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood, with 17% having experienced all 3 types of abuse investigated in this study. Emotional abuse resulted in a positive predictor of PCL-R total scores and its Interpersonal-Affective and Lifestyle-Antisocial factors. This suggests that emotional abuse in childhood, in combination with neurobiological and temperamental vulnerabilities, can foster the development of psychopathic traits. (PsycINFO Database Record
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/109949
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