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Social scientists have produced numerous studies identifying both gender-neutral and gender-specific causes of crime and delinquency, violence, and other forms of antisocial behaviors. Noting the importance of gender (it is the most robust predictor of offending), this chapter attempts to provide a relatively comprehensive introduction to diverse approaches to understanding female criminality. We review traditional criminological theories and their relevance to understanding crime committed by women and girls, as well as newer perspectives that bring to the fore the lived realities of females, taking into account sexual and other victimization, the gendered nature of violence, and the effects of patriarchal, capitalistic systems. We recognize that all women are not alike and encourage additional theoretical work that specifically considers cultural variations.
Despite abundant research on the potential causal influence of childhood maltreatment (CM) on psychological maladaptation in adulthood, almost none has implemented the discordant twin design as a means of examining the role of such experiences in later disordered gambling (DG) while accounting for genetic and family environmental confounds. The present study implemented such an approach to disentangle the potential causal and familial factors that may account for the association between CM and DG.
Participants were 3750 twins from the Australian Twin Registry [Mage = 37.60 (s.d. = 2.31); 58% female]. CM and DG were assessed separately via two semi-structured telephone interviews. Random-intercept generalized linear mixed models were fit to the data; zygosity, sex, educational attainment, childhood psychiatric disorder, adult antisocial behavior, and alcohol use disorder (AUD) were included as covariates.
Neither quasi-causal nor familial effects of CM predicted DG after adjusting for covariates. Educational attainment appeared to reduce the risk of DG while AUD appeared to increase risk; evidence also emerged for familial effects of antisocial behavior on DG. Post-hoc analyses revealed a familial effect of CM on antisocial behavior, indicating that the association between CM and DG identified in unadjusted models and in prior studies may be accounted for by genetic and shared family environmental effects of antisociality.
These findings add to the meager literature showing that CM does not exert a causal effect on DG, and present novel evidence that familial effects of antisocial behavior may account for the association between CM and DG identified in extant non-twin research.
This chapter comments on the review of the Triarchic Psychopathy Model provided by Brislin and Patrick. The review provides an excellent discussion of the model, however, the author disagrees with several of its key tenets. First, the model places too much emphasis on boldness as a central feature. Boldness is too adaptive a trait to serve this function; its primary correlates are positive psychological adjustment and the traits associated with such adjustment (e.g., low neuroticism and high extraversion) and it shows little relation to other aspects of psychopathy or antisocial behavior. Second, the model de-emphasizes antisocial behavior—the defining feature of psychopathy in historical accounts (e.g., Cleckley, Lykken, Hare) and the outcome that has driven interest in psychopathy. Third, the model also de-emphasizes meanness which, in the form of Five-Factor Model antagonism, is central to all descriptions of psychopathy, shows the strongest correlation with psychopathy inventories, and serves as the glue that binds subscales within an inventory together. Throughout this commentary, the author discusses a variety of historical accounts and review empirical results in support of these criticisms.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and psychopathy are related but distinguishable conditions with long histories in the mental health field. Recent years have seen a shift toward viewing these diagnostic conditions as dimensional and multifaceted, as opposed to discrete and unitary. This chapter covers historic and contemporary conceptualizations of these conditions and current approaches to assessing each. The authors describe the new dimensional system for personality disorders in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In addition, they discuss the triarchic model, an integrative framework for clarifying similarities and differences between ASPD and psychopathy, and guiding etiological research on these conditions. In particular, they consider how the three constructs of the triarchic model – boldness, meanness, and disinhibition – relate to distinct biobehavioral systems and measures. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research that can help to advance our understanding of ASPD and psychopathy, with a focus on multi-method assessments and targeted treatments.
Traditionally, studies of personality disorder development have focused on (1) whether adult symptoms are expressed among children and adolescents, and if so (2) ages of onset at which full syndrome criteria are met. Although such studies are necessary and important, they provide limited understanding of etiopathophysiology—the complex and interactive biological and social determinants of PDs across the lifespan. This commentary presents a brief update to our conceptual model of antisocial (ASPD) and borderline (BPD) development among boys and girls. It focuses on (1) complexity of genetic, environmental, and neurohormonal influences on subcortical vulnerability to impulsivity; (2) increasing contributions of cortically mediated emotion dysregulation in adolescence and adulthood; and (3) moderation of common genetic and neural vulnerabilities to ASPD and BPD by sex. Importantly, neural correlates of ASPD and BPD are already observed among teens who are at risk for the disorders. Implications for prevention are discussed.
In addressing questions posed by Marcus and Nagel, the authors call attention to the variegated nature of psychopathy, highlighting its symptom subdimensions and differing manifest expressions (variants/subtypes). They discuss how the constructs of the triarchic model can be viewed both as phenotypic characteristics and as biobehavioral dispositions, and consider how these alternative perspectives can be helpful for clarifying what psychopathy “is” and “how” it develops. In responding to Lynam, they consider the sources of his criticisms as well as their content – focusing in particular on his preference for the five-factor trait model (FFM) as a descriptive framework, and the priority he places on psychopathy in its aggressive-criminal form. The authors discuss how the triarchic model complements the FFM descriptive approach through its emphasis on biobehavioral systems/processes and its ability to account for other variants of psychopathy.
Comparing coping mechanisms of 15-17 year-old inhabitants of “Tehran Correction and Rehabilitation Center” (named: delinquents) and the same age students of Tehran high schools (named: non-delinquents).
In a cross-sectional descriptive study, all 105 inhabitants of the center (81 males and 24 females) and 372 high school students (181 males and 191 females) who were randomly selected from area 6 of Tehran high schools completed the “Adolescent Coping Scale” which consists of 18 strategies and 3 styles. Results were analyzed using ANOVA and T-test.
Non-delinquent males and females used productive style more than reference to others, and reference to others more than non-productive style. Delinquent males used productive style and reference to others without significant difference, and also used these two styles significantly more than non-productive style. Delinquent females used all three styles without significant difference. Delinquent males used all three styles significantly more than non-delinquent males. Delinquent females used productive style less, non-productive style more and reference to others without significant difference from non-delinquent females.
In comparison with delinquent females, Delinquent males have a more comprehensive set of coping skills and can use external resources more effectively. Delinquent females use a very dysfunctional collection of coping mechanisms, which may have caused their vulnerability to social pathologies.
Presence of A1 allele of the DRD2 gene has been associated with a predisposition for alcoholism although there are limited data about its phenotypic expression in alcoholism.
To determine the importance of the A1 allele in clinical variables of alcohol dependence.
A sample of 103 alcohol-dependent males was studied. All patients were recruited consecutively from the general hospital and community settings. The diagnostics were made with the structured clinical interview for DSM-III-R (SCID); and the International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE). Diagnosis of family alcoholism was made by direct interview or with the Research Diagnostic Criteria-Family History (RDC-FH). The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and the Severity of Alcohol Dependence Scale (SADS) were used to assess alcohol dependence severity. Genotyping was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) methods.
Approximately 39% of the sample carried the A1 allele (A1+ group). This group had higher prevalences of antisocial personality disorder (60% vs. 15.9%); and alcoholism family history (72.5% vs. 52.4%). Also A1+ had early onset alcohol abuse and more drinking problems. The presence of A1+ was the main factor to explain the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, but the weight of this factor was not sufficient to explain the complications assessed by the ASI.
Our results support the existence of an association between the A1 allele and factors resulting from dopaminergic deficiency, otherwise denominated reward deficiency syndrome.
The association between additional co-morbid axis I disorders and the following 28-month course of drinking and mental distress was explored in a nation-wide representative sample (N = 100) of treatment-seeking alcoholics with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Diagnoses at admission were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and follow-up status was assessed with a questionnaire and from informants. Only 24% had no additional diagnoses, 39% had an affective disorder, 43% panic/agoraphobia, 61% other anxiety disorders, and 47% were polysubstance abusers. Polysubstance abusers had more prior admissions, and were more often involved in fights, while additional anxiety disorder was associated with lower prevalence of drunken driving arrests. Relapse (87%) was best predicted by the number of prior admissions (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3), while affective disorders reduced the risk of relapse (OR = 0.2). Readmissions (55%) were least common among those with affective disorders (44%). Identifying axis I diagnoses, and in particular affective disorders among treatment-seeking ASPD alcoholics, is of substantial importance both in research and clinical practice.
Aggression is a particular problem commonly observed in personality disorders, especially in antisocial personality disorder (APD). It is well known that APD is closely related to substance use disorder (SUD). Individuals with higher aggression levels have also been suggested to have higher rates of SUD. The aim of this study is to investigate aggression levels and substance use characteristics of APD subjects with and without violent criminal behavior.
A total of 124 male subjects with APD consecutively admitted to the Forensic Psychiatry Department of GATA Haydarpasa Training Hospital were involved in the study. All subjects were evaluated with an assessment battery using a semi-structured interview for socio-demographic, APD, and substance use characteristics, APD section of SCID-II, SCID-I, and Aggression Questionnaire. The sample was divided into 2 groups in terms of having a history of violent criminal behavior and compared correspondingly.
Of the APD subjects, 90.3% reported a lifetime history of substance abuse and 75% had a current co-diagnosis of SUD. APD subjects with violent criminal behavior were more likely to be diagnosed with SUD as compared to those without violent crimes. Moreover, APD subjects with SUD had higher aggression levels than those without SUD.
Our results indicate that substance use may mediate the association between APD and aggression. Therefore, the treatment of SUD in APD subjects is an important target particularly for prevention of violent criminal behaviors.
Genetic factors explain a non-negligible part of the vulnerability to alcohol dependence, the genetic influence in males being estimated at around 60%. The search for gene(s) potentially implicated in alcoholism is counteracted by the clinical heterogeneity of alcoholism, but also by heterogeneity of the etiologic factors involved. It is thus necessary to redefine more specific phenotypes with more simple determinism, and to focus on more specific subsets of candidate genes. In this view, the existence of co-occurrence (presence at the same time, whatever the cause) between antisocial personality and alcoholism is frequently reported. Three hypotheses have been previously proposed to explain this co-occurrence. Firstly, it could be a pure artefact or contamination, due to common items in diagnostic manuals widely used, such as the DSM or ICD. Secondly, antisocial personality and alcoholism could share common etiologic factor(s), and determine a ‘real’ co-morbidity. Finally, common genetic factors between these two disorders may exist, with the observation of a co-transmission of both disorders more often than expected by chance alone, meaning the existence of co-aggregation. Each of these three hypotheses will be reviewed and discussed.
Low and middle-income countries experience an expressive growth in the number of circulating motorcycles, paralleled by an increasing number of traffic accidents. Delivery motorcycles drivers (“motoboys”) are generally perceived as accountable for this scenario. Although traffic accidents have a multivariate etiology, mental disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are often involved. This paper aims at investigating the prevalence of ADHD, SUD and other mental disorders in a sample of Brazilian motoboys, and additionally, to evaluate the association between psychiatric diagnoses, motorcycle accidents and traffic violation tickets.
A convenient sample of subjects was invited to participate in a cross-sectional assessment including an inventory of traffic accidents and violations. Psychiatric diagnoses were based on semi-structured and clinical interviews.
A sample of 101 motoboys was assessed. Overall, 75% of subjects had a positive lifetime history of at least one psychiatric disorder. SUD was the most frequent diagnosis (43.6% for alcohol, 39.6% for cannabis). ADHD was associated with a higher number of traffic accidents (p = 0.002), and antisocial personality disorder (APD) was associated with a greater number of traffic violations (p = 0.007).
The prevalence of mental disorders was much higher in our sample than in the general population. ADHD and APD, but not SUD, were associated with negative traffic outcomes. These findings have implications for public mental health planning since mental disorders can be both prevented and treated, improving driving behavior and increasing road safety.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) are characterized by abnormalities in motor, sensory, and integrative functions. NSS have been regarded as a result of neurodevelopmental dysfunction, and as evidence of a central nervous system defect, resulting in considerable sociopsychological dysfunction. During the last decade there has been growing evidence of brain dysfunction in severe aggressive behavior. As a symptom, aggression overlaps a number of psychiatric disorders, but it is commonly associated with antisocial personality disorder. The aim of the present study was to examine NSS in an adult criminal population using the scale by Rossi et al. . Subjects comprised 14 homicidal men with antisocial personality disorder recruited from a forensic psychiatric examination. Ten age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers as well as eight patients with schizophrenia, but no history of physical aggression, served as controls. The NSS scores of antisocial offenders were significantly increased compared with those of the healthy controls, whereas no significant differences were observed between the scores of offenders and those of patients with schizophrenia. It can be speculated that NSS indicate a nonspecific vulnerability factor in several psychiatric syndromes, which are further influenced by a variety of genetic and environmental components. One of these syndromes may be antisocial personality disorder with severe aggression.
Presence of a family history of alcoholism may predict clinical characteristics in affected subjects, such as an earlier age at onset. More frequent and severe social maladjustment and somatic complications are also regularly cited for familial alcoholism, although subject to many other confusing factors. We analysed the clinical specificities of 79 alcohol-dependent inpatients according to the absence versus presence of family history of alcoholism.
Patients were evaluated for lifetime psychiatric morbidity with the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS), for somatic complications with a systematic screening list, and first-degree relatives (N = 428) were assessed with the Family Inventory Schedule and Criteria (FISC).
Age at onset and social complications were predicting familial versus sporadic alcoholism, even when considering censored data and/or interaction between variables. But differences became non-significant when excluding patients with antisocial personality.
If age at onset effectively appears to be the most informative characteristic for predicting familial versus sporadic alcoholism, it seems that it may be necessary in future studies to systematically take into account antisocial personality diagnosis, because of a probable contamination.
Twenty-six percent of children experience a traumatic event by the age of 4. Negative events during childhood have deleterious correlates later in life, including antisocial behavior. However, the mechanisms that play into this relation are unclear. We explored deficits in neurocognitive functioning, specifically problems in passive avoidance, a construct with elements of inhibitory control and learning as a potential acquired mediator for the pathway between cumulative early childhood adversity from birth to age 7 and later antisocial behavior through age 18, using prospective longitudinal data from 585 participants. Path analyses showed that cumulative early childhood adversity predicted impaired passive avoidance during adolescence and increased antisocial behavior during late adolescence. Furthermore, poor neurocognition, namely, passive avoidance, predicted later antisocial behavior and significantly mediated the relation between cumulative early childhood adversity and later antisocial behavior. This research has implications for understanding the development of later antisocial behavior and points to a potential target for neurocognitive intervention within the pathway from cumulative early childhood adversity to later antisocial behavior.
Spouses resemble each other for psychopathology, but data regarding spousal resemblance in externalizing psychopathology, and data regarding spousal resemblance across different syndromes (e.g. anxiety in wives and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] in husbands) are limited. Moreover, knowledge is lacking regarding spousal resemblance in parents of children with psychiatric disorders. We investigated and compared spousal resemblance within and across internalizing and externalizing symptom domains in parents of children with and without psychopathology.
Symptoms of depression, anxiety, avoidant personality, ADHD, and antisocial personality were assessed with the Adult Self Report in 728 mothers and 544 fathers of 778 children seen in child and adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinics and in 2075 mothers and 1623 fathers of 2784 children from a population-based sample. Differences in symptom scores and spousal correlations between the samples were tested.
Parents in the clinical sample had higher symptom scores than in the population-based sample. In both samples, correlations within and across internalizing and externalizing domains of psychopathology were significant. Importantly, correlations were significantly higher in the clinical sample (P = 0.03). Correlations, within and across symptoms, ranged from 0.14 to 0.30 in the clinical sample and from 0.05 to 0.23 in the population-based sample.
This large study shows that spousal resemblance is not only present within but also across symptom domains. Especially in the clinical sample, ADHD symptoms in fathers and antisocial personality symptoms in mothers were correlated with a range of psychiatric symptoms in their spouses. Clinicians need to be alert of these multiple affected families.
The present study examined empathy deficits in toddlerhood (age 14 to 36 months) as predictors of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) symptoms and psychopathy measured by the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy scale (Levenson, Kiehl, & Fitzpatrick, 1995) in adulthood (age 23 years) in 956 individuals from the Colorado Longitudinal Twin Study. Consistent with the hypothesis that antisocial behavior is associated with “active” rather than “passive” empathy deficits, early disregard for others, not lack of concern for others, predicted later ASPD symptoms. Early disregard for others was also significantly associated with factor 1 of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, which includes items assessing interpersonal and affective deficits, but not with factor 2, which includes items assessing impulsivity and poor behavioral control. The association between early disregard for others and psychopathy factor 2 was near zero after controlling for the shared variance between psychopathy factors 1 and 2. These results suggest that there is a propensity toward adulthood ASPD symptoms and psychopathy factor 1 that can be assessed early in development, which may help identify individuals most at risk for stable antisocial outcomes.
Maltreatment during childhood is associated with difficult interpersonal relationships throughout the life course. The aim of the current study was to investigate differential pathways from child maltreatment to emerging adult relationship dysfunction. Specifically, we prospectively tested whether child maltreatment initiates a developmental cascade resulting in coercive negative romantic and friend interactions in emerging adulthood via childhood antisocial tendencies and via childhood relational aggression. Utilizing a longitudinal sample of emerging adult participants (N = 392; mean age = 20 years old) who took part in a summer research camp program as children (mean age = 11 years old), results supported pathways via both childhood antisocial behavior and childhood relational aggression. We found specificity within these pathways such that childhood antisocial behavior was a mediator of child maltreatment effects on emerging adult negative romantic interactions, whereas childhood relational aggression was a mediator of child maltreatment effects on emerging adult negative friend interactions. Taken together, results indicate that children exposed to maltreatment face significant interpersonal challenges in emerging adulthood, within both the friend and the romantic domains, and point to distinct childhood pathways to these negative interactions. Our findings are consistent with Dishion's (2016) theoretical framework for understanding the development of coercion in relationships and highlight the criticality of early intervention with maltreating families.
This study revisits the premature autonomy model by examining parents’ use of positive behavior support (PBS) practices on a daily timescale to better understand underlying processes in developmental changes in family disengagement and the implications for adolescent problem behavior and substance use. This study included 151 9th and 10th grade adolescents (61.5% female) and their caregivers, who participated in a baseline assessment, a 21-day daily diary burst, and a 1-year follow-up assessment. Four key findings emerged: (a) on days when parents used more PBS, adolescents felt more close and connected to their caregivers; (b) adolescents who exhibited a larger-magnitude of change in connectedness with caregivers in relation to variation in positive parenting (termed fragile connectedness) were at higher risk for antisocial behavior, deviant peer involvement, and substance use one year later; (c) individual differences in initial levels of antisocial behavior and effortful control accounted for between-person variation in fragile connectedness; and (d) day-level adolescent anger and parent–adolescent conflict predicted within-family variation in parents’ use of PBS. Implications for the premature autonomy model and intervention science are discussed.
Adolescents’ peer networks provide an important context that can contribute to increases in antisocial behavior. By a process called deviancy training, peers can both model and reinforce these behaviors, thereby conveying group norms about the acceptability of such behaviors. This research examined the relationship between the proportion of adolescents’ peers who exchanged antisocial text messages and externalizing behaviors during high school. In Study 1, parent-, teacher-, and self-reports of rule-breaking and aggression were collected for a sample of adolescents (n = 167, 80 girls; 22.2% Black, 51.5% Caucasian, 18.7% Hispanic) during the summers before and after 9th grade. Total text frequency, frequency of antisocial texts, and the proportion of the peer network who exchanged antisocial messages were examined as predictors of antisocial behavior. The proportion of peers who exchanged antisocial texts significantly predicted rule-breaking, but not aggression. Study 2 examined the direction of the relationship documented in Study 1 more thoroughly. Externalizing behaviors at 9th, 10th, and 11th grade were evaluated as predictors of the proportion of the peer network that exchanged texts about antisocial topics (n = 205, 98 girls; 22.4% Black, 53.7% Caucasian, 16.9% Hispanic). Externalizing behaviors predicted the proportion of adolescents’ peer network that exchanged antisocial texts in each of the subsequent years, but this proportion of the peer network exchanging antisocial communication did not predict subsequent externalizing behaviors. The findings suggest that the extent to which antisocial communication permeates the peer group is a selection effect.