Abstract Title

Protective Factors in the Development of Psychopathy from Adolescence to Adulthood

Faculty Mentor Name

Michele Gazica, Erin Bowen

Format Preference

Poster

Abstract

Protective Factors in the Development of Psychopathy from Adolescence to Adulthood

The purpose of this study is to investigate factors that may disrupt the stability of psychopathy from adolescence to adulthood, using the National Institute of Justice Pathways to Desistence archival dataset. This study consists of 776 males (average age at baseline: 16) who were serious adolescent offenders within Maricopa County, Arizona and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, at the beginning of the study period (baseline interviews were conducted between November 2000 to March 2003). Participants were assessed at baseline and every 6 months thereafter for 7 years. Psychopathy is a personality trait that is characterized by a lack of empathy, cynicism, arrogance, superficial charm, aggressiveness, irresponsibility, and reckless disregard for the safety of self or others and has been consistently linked to criminal behavior. Research shows that adolescents who score highly on psychopathy assessment tools also tend to score highly as adults, and vice versa. To date, most stability research has focused on exacerbating factors, such as abusive parents and delinquent peers. This research, on the other hand, focuses its efforts on protective factors: motivation to succeed, satisfaction with school, perceived opportunities of success, and bonding with teachers, all of which were assessed at baseline. I expect that the relationship between psychopathy scores in adolescence (assessed at 6 months after baseline) and psychopathy scores in adulthood (assessed at 84 months after baseline) will be weaker in those adolescents who score relatively higher on the protective factors than those who score relatively lower. I hope that the results of this study will inform future interventions to mitigate the development of psychopathy over time.

Poster Presentation

Location

AC1-Atrium, Eagle Gym

Start Date

3-23-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

3-23-2018 9:00 PM

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Mar 23rd, 11:00 AM Mar 23rd, 9:00 PM

Protective Factors in the Development of Psychopathy from Adolescence to Adulthood

AC1-Atrium, Eagle Gym

Protective Factors in the Development of Psychopathy from Adolescence to Adulthood

The purpose of this study is to investigate factors that may disrupt the stability of psychopathy from adolescence to adulthood, using the National Institute of Justice Pathways to Desistence archival dataset. This study consists of 776 males (average age at baseline: 16) who were serious adolescent offenders within Maricopa County, Arizona and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, at the beginning of the study period (baseline interviews were conducted between November 2000 to March 2003). Participants were assessed at baseline and every 6 months thereafter for 7 years. Psychopathy is a personality trait that is characterized by a lack of empathy, cynicism, arrogance, superficial charm, aggressiveness, irresponsibility, and reckless disregard for the safety of self or others and has been consistently linked to criminal behavior. Research shows that adolescents who score highly on psychopathy assessment tools also tend to score highly as adults, and vice versa. To date, most stability research has focused on exacerbating factors, such as abusive parents and delinquent peers. This research, on the other hand, focuses its efforts on protective factors: motivation to succeed, satisfaction with school, perceived opportunities of success, and bonding with teachers, all of which were assessed at baseline. I expect that the relationship between psychopathy scores in adolescence (assessed at 6 months after baseline) and psychopathy scores in adulthood (assessed at 84 months after baseline) will be weaker in those adolescents who score relatively higher on the protective factors than those who score relatively lower. I hope that the results of this study will inform future interventions to mitigate the development of psychopathy over time.

Poster Presentation