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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/839

Title: Psychopathy, negative emotions of anger and depression, and causal attributions: relation to sexual aggression
Authors: Di Francisco, Maria
Keywords: Clinical psychology;Mental health;Sex offenders
Issue Date: 25-Jul-2006
Abstract: Psychopathy has been extensively investigated in its relation to violent behavior. This construct appears to be an important variable in studying aggressive behavior given that it considers many of the problems manifested in the emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal domains among forensic populations. Emotion- and cognitive-oriented research have reported affective dyscontrol (negative emotions) and cognitive components such as causal attributions, as factors associated with criminal behavior. Integrating these findings, the current study examined the associations of psychopathy, anger and depression symptoms, and locus causal attributions to severity of sexual aggression in a retrospective study design. Eighty males with a history of conviction of adult (Rapists, n = 42) or child (Molesters, n = 38) sex offenses completed the Novaco Anger Scale and Provocation Inventory (NASPI; Novaco, 1994); Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996); and Offence Questionnaire (OQ; McKay, Chapman, & Long, 1996). The variables of psychopathy and severity of past sexual aggression were obtained from records review using the PCL-R (Hare, 1991) and SASI (Nezu, et al., 1997), respectively. Primary analysis indicated that psychopathy and locus causal attributions accounted for 50 % of the variance in severity of sexual aggression in Molesters, with anger indicating a trend in the model. In the Rapists group, psychopathy accounted for 47 % of the variance in severity of sexual aggression, Anger and locus causal attributions were not significant. Results of secondary analysis indicated that one specific psychopathy factor (Factor 1) significantly contributed to severity of sexual aggression in both groups. Results of current study suggest that sexual offenders who display higher severities of sexual aggressive acts against their victims are also higher in psychopathic characteristics regardless whether they will be adult or child perpetrators. Findings impact treatment selection and treatment delivery drawn to specifically address features that are highly linked with treatment resistance, risk for recidivism, and difficulties in learning new non-deviant sexual patterns.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/839
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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