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Psychopathic features in young incarcerated females
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden. Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8285-0935
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Criminal Psychology, ISSN 2009-3829, Vol. 6, no 2, 63-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between psychopathic features as measured with the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) and behavioural and emotional functioning in young female offenders in custody.

Design/methodology/approach: This is a quantitative interview study investigating the relationship with psychopathic traits, measured with the PCL: YV (Forth et al., 2003), and different psychological characteristics as well as AD/HD, self-harm, and childhood trauma in adolescent offenders across genders. Data were collected from a sample of 40 female and 40 male adolescents who were incarcerated in Victoria, Australia.

Findings: Results indicated that the behavioural subscales of the PCL: YV were associated with externalising behaviours possibly underpinned by histories of abuse and substantiated child protection incidences. The presence of AD/HD was strongly associated with affective deficits suggesting that the PCL: YV may be identifying young females with AD/HD rather than core psychopathic traits. Findings also indicate that female-specific manifestations of manipulation are likely being misidentified as behavioural phenomena precluding clinical recognition as a core interpersonal trait. Significant dissimilarities with a young male comparison group were identified and are discussed within.

Research limitations/implications: The sample size is very small and the results should be seen as an indication rather than generalising.

Originality/value: Studies on female juvenile offenders is rare and this study adds to the literature on the construct of psychopathy and its relationship to psychosocial factors as well as associations with AD/HD, self-harm, and childhood trauma, among incarcerated adolescents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016. Vol. 6, no 2, 63-75 p.
Keyword [en]
Psychopathy, Self-harm, Childhood trauma, AD/HD, Criminal offending, Female juveniles
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-53646DOI: 10.1108/JCP-02-2016-0004ISI: 000386682200003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84966698987OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-53646DiVA: diva2:1050046
Available from: 2016-11-28 Created: 2016-11-25 Last updated: 2016-11-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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