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Browsing by Author "Aalto, Jukka"

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  • Aalto, Jukka (2019)
    Psychopathy is a disorder characterized with unemotional and callous traits, grandiosity, tendency to lie and manipulate, adventurous and thrill seeking behavior, criminal versatility and unplanned, parasitic lifestyle. Psychopathic personality traits in adolescence are known to be associated with juvenile delinquency and early onset substance abuse. However, based on previous studies, it is difficult to reliably describe the relationship between unique features of psychopathy and the number of offences committed by an adolescent offender. This is mainly because few studies have controlled for the effects of other known factors contributing to antisocial behavior. The same goes for relationship between juvenile psychopathy and substance abuse. There are no published studies investigating the association between psychopathy and the assessment of one´s own overt antisocial behavior. The present study examined the association between psychopathy, number of committed offences and the degree of substance abuse among incarcerated juvenile offenders. The present study used data from the American Pathways to Desistance -research project where 14-18 years old adolescents (n = 1354) who had been found guilty for at least one serious offence were followed. The associations between psychopathic personality traits – as evaluated with PCL-YV method – and a) number of subject´s self-reported offences b) extent of subject´s self-reported substance abuse were examined with linear regression models that controlled for number of known correlates for antisocial behavior. The same analyses were carried out for discrepancy between subject´s and his/hers collateral reports regarding subject´s offending and substance abuse. Psychopathy was associated with the extent of illicit drug abuse but not alcohol consumption. Psychopathy did not explain the discrepancy between subject´s and his/hers collateral´s reports regarding subject´s substance abuse. Psychopathic traits were positively associated with the number of self-reported offences committed by the subject. In regard to number of offences committed, the discrepancy between subject´s and collateral´s reports were greater with those subjects who had higher levels of psychopathic traits. The results further support the validity of psychopathy as a construct that is uniquely associated with juvenile delinquency and illicit drug abuse. In addition, this study lends support to notion that psychopathic individuals seem to lie about their actions mainly when they perceive they can somehow benefit from it.