Difficulties in emotion regulation and psychopathic traits in violent offenders

C. Garofalo, C.S. Neumann, Patrizia Velotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
The present study aimed to advance our understanding of the relevance of emotion dysregulation (ED) for psychopathy.

Methods
Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were employed to examine person- and variable-centered associations between ED domains and psychopathic traits in a moderately-large (N = 268) sample of violent male offenders.

Results
LPA results indicated a 3-class solution with offenders most accurately classified based on ED levels (low, medium, high) across domains. The three ED subgroups revealed linear positive associations with psychopathy total, affective, and lifestyle facet scores, such that elevated levels of these traits were found in subgroups with greater ED. A similar linear trend emerged for the antisocial – but not interpersonal – facet, in-line with recent studies showing positive associations between executive functioning and interpersonal features of psychopathy. In SEM analyses, a latent ED factor positively predicted a super-ordinate psychopathy factor, controlling for psychopathological distress.

Conclusions
Taken together, current findings support the notion that ED involves broad difficulties across emotion regulation domains, which vary by degree rather than in kind, and that these difficulties have linear positive relations with psychopathic traits among violent offenders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume57
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • AGGRESSION
  • CONSTRUCT
  • DYSREGULATION
  • ET-AL
  • Emotion dysregulation
  • FEARLESS DOMINANCE
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • Latent profile analysis (LPA)
  • NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY
  • Offenders
  • PERSONALITY
  • Psychopathy
  • REGULATION SCALE
  • Structural equation modeling (SEM)
  • TEMPERAMENT

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