An examination of the relationship between adult psychopathy and childhood trauma in a jail sample

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dc.contributor Shealy, R. Clayton
dc.contributor McDonald, Kristina L.
dc.contributor Nelson-Gardell, Debra M.
dc.contributor Lanier, Mark
dc.contributor.advisor Sellbom, Martin
dc.contributor.advisor Salekin, Randall T. Rock, Rachel Colleen 2017-03-02T19:55:18Z 2017-03-02T19:55:18Z 2016
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0002543
dc.identifier.other Rock_alatus_0004D_12748
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Psychopathy is a constellation of maladaptive personality traits such as callousness, manipulativeness, pathological lying, a lack of empathy, and superficial charm (Cleckley, 1941; Hare, 2003), which has been associated with both genetic and environmental etiological factors (e.g., Blair, Peschardt, Budhani, Mitchell, & Pine, 2006). Although genetic variation may be responsible for the many neurobiological factors associated with psychopathy, these studies clearly indicate that environmental risk factors for psychopathy should not be neglected. One such risk factor is childhood trauma, which for the purposes of this investigation will be focused on childhood physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, neglect, and witnessing domestic violence. Although we know that childhood trauma is associated with psychopathy (e.g., Verona et al., 2005; Rock, 2012), we know little about the mechanisms through which this relationship occurs. I examined the associations between five childhood trauma subtypes and total psychopathy as well as its four facets (affective, interpersonal, antisocial, lifestyle) in this study. I also investigated the possibility of insecure parental attachment, disinhibition, negative emotionality, and fearlessness as mediators, and gender, race, SES, disinhibition, and fearlessness as moderators in these associations. Two-hundred twenty men and women from the Tuscaloosa County Jail participated in the study. They completed interviews as well as questionnaires that assessed for psychopathy, trauma, and various other factors. The findings suggest that psychological abuse, physical abuse, and witnessing domestic violence all directly predict psychopathy, and that sexual abuse is negatively associated with psychopathy. There was no evidence for mediation or moderation. These results are important as they shed light on the etiology of psychopathy, and suggest that there are no differences in the association between childhood trauma and adult psychopathy, regardless of gender, race, and SES.
dc.format.extent 114 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Psychology
dc.title An examination of the relationship between adult psychopathy and childhood trauma in a jail sample
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Dept. of Psychology Psychology The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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