Mindfulness alexithymia and empathy moderate relations between trait aggression and antisocial personality disorder traits

Patrizia Velotti*, Carlo Garofalo, Giancarlo Dimaggio, Peter Fonagy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) has long been described focusing exclusively on behavioral features, like aggression. Although the role of mentalizing for aggression is well established, research on the role of mentalizing in ASPD remains limited. The present study examined the independent and interactive effects of mentalizing abilities and aggression in predicting ASPD traits in a violent male offender sample (N = 403). Participants completed self-report measures of ASPD traits, and a comprehensive assessment of mentalizing skills including measures of mindfulness, empathy, and alexithymia. Above and beyond the main effect of aggression, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly explained an incremental amount of variance in ASPD traits in separate regression analyses. Further, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly interacted with aggression in predicting ASPD scores. Findings suggest that among offenders with better mentalizing, aggression was significantly more strongly related to ASPD traits, indicating that at higher levels of mentalizing, only participants who also had higher levels of aggression scored higher on ASPD traits. Conversely, among offenders with poorer mentalizing, the positive association between aggression and ASPD traits was significantly weaker, indicating that poor mentalizing alone was sufficient to have high levels of ASPD traits (and aggression). Findings suggest that in some instances, mentalizing may not have a protective role on ASPD in the presence of very high levels of aggression. However, among offenders with poor mentalizing, treatments targeting aggression may not be successful in reducing ASPD traits. Interventions that aim at improving mentalizing may ultimately be more effective to treat aggression and ASPD among offenders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1090
JournalMindfulness
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

Affective Symptoms
personality disorder
Theory of Mind
empathy
aggression
offender
Self Report

Keywords

  • ATTACHMENT
  • Aggression
  • Alexithymia
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • COMORBIDITY
  • CROSS-VALIDATION
  • EMOTION DYSREGULATION
  • MENTALIZATION
  • Mentalizing
  • Mindfulness
  • OFFENDERS
  • Offenders
  • PROACTIVE AGGRESSION
  • PSYCHOTHERAPY
  • QUOTIENT
  • SCALE

Cite this

Velotti, Patrizia ; Garofalo, Carlo ; Dimaggio, Giancarlo ; Fonagy, Peter. / Mindfulness alexithymia and empathy moderate relations between trait aggression and antisocial personality disorder traits. In: Mindfulness. 2019 ; Vol. 10, No. 6. pp. 1082-1090.
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abstract = "Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) has long been described focusing exclusively on behavioral features, like aggression. Although the role of mentalizing for aggression is well established, research on the role of mentalizing in ASPD remains limited. The present study examined the independent and interactive effects of mentalizing abilities and aggression in predicting ASPD traits in a violent male offender sample (N = 403). Participants completed self-report measures of ASPD traits, and a comprehensive assessment of mentalizing skills including measures of mindfulness, empathy, and alexithymia. Above and beyond the main effect of aggression, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly explained an incremental amount of variance in ASPD traits in separate regression analyses. Further, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly interacted with aggression in predicting ASPD scores. Findings suggest that among offenders with better mentalizing, aggression was significantly more strongly related to ASPD traits, indicating that at higher levels of mentalizing, only participants who also had higher levels of aggression scored higher on ASPD traits. Conversely, among offenders with poorer mentalizing, the positive association between aggression and ASPD traits was significantly weaker, indicating that poor mentalizing alone was sufficient to have high levels of ASPD traits (and aggression). Findings suggest that in some instances, mentalizing may not have a protective role on ASPD in the presence of very high levels of aggression. However, among offenders with poor mentalizing, treatments targeting aggression may not be successful in reducing ASPD traits. Interventions that aim at improving mentalizing may ultimately be more effective to treat aggression and ASPD among offenders.",
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Mindfulness alexithymia and empathy moderate relations between trait aggression and antisocial personality disorder traits. / Velotti, Patrizia; Garofalo, Carlo; Dimaggio, Giancarlo; Fonagy, Peter.

In: Mindfulness, Vol. 10, No. 6, 2019, p. 1082-1090.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mindfulness alexithymia and empathy moderate relations between trait aggression and antisocial personality disorder traits

AU - Velotti, Patrizia

AU - Garofalo, Carlo

AU - Dimaggio, Giancarlo

AU - Fonagy, Peter

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) has long been described focusing exclusively on behavioral features, like aggression. Although the role of mentalizing for aggression is well established, research on the role of mentalizing in ASPD remains limited. The present study examined the independent and interactive effects of mentalizing abilities and aggression in predicting ASPD traits in a violent male offender sample (N = 403). Participants completed self-report measures of ASPD traits, and a comprehensive assessment of mentalizing skills including measures of mindfulness, empathy, and alexithymia. Above and beyond the main effect of aggression, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly explained an incremental amount of variance in ASPD traits in separate regression analyses. Further, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly interacted with aggression in predicting ASPD scores. Findings suggest that among offenders with better mentalizing, aggression was significantly more strongly related to ASPD traits, indicating that at higher levels of mentalizing, only participants who also had higher levels of aggression scored higher on ASPD traits. Conversely, among offenders with poorer mentalizing, the positive association between aggression and ASPD traits was significantly weaker, indicating that poor mentalizing alone was sufficient to have high levels of ASPD traits (and aggression). Findings suggest that in some instances, mentalizing may not have a protective role on ASPD in the presence of very high levels of aggression. However, among offenders with poor mentalizing, treatments targeting aggression may not be successful in reducing ASPD traits. Interventions that aim at improving mentalizing may ultimately be more effective to treat aggression and ASPD among offenders.

AB - Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) has long been described focusing exclusively on behavioral features, like aggression. Although the role of mentalizing for aggression is well established, research on the role of mentalizing in ASPD remains limited. The present study examined the independent and interactive effects of mentalizing abilities and aggression in predicting ASPD traits in a violent male offender sample (N = 403). Participants completed self-report measures of ASPD traits, and a comprehensive assessment of mentalizing skills including measures of mindfulness, empathy, and alexithymia. Above and beyond the main effect of aggression, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly explained an incremental amount of variance in ASPD traits in separate regression analyses. Further, mindfulness, alexithymia, and empathy significantly interacted with aggression in predicting ASPD scores. Findings suggest that among offenders with better mentalizing, aggression was significantly more strongly related to ASPD traits, indicating that at higher levels of mentalizing, only participants who also had higher levels of aggression scored higher on ASPD traits. Conversely, among offenders with poorer mentalizing, the positive association between aggression and ASPD traits was significantly weaker, indicating that poor mentalizing alone was sufficient to have high levels of ASPD traits (and aggression). Findings suggest that in some instances, mentalizing may not have a protective role on ASPD in the presence of very high levels of aggression. However, among offenders with poor mentalizing, treatments targeting aggression may not be successful in reducing ASPD traits. Interventions that aim at improving mentalizing may ultimately be more effective to treat aggression and ASPD among offenders.

KW - ATTACHMENT

KW - Aggression

KW - Alexithymia

KW - Antisocial personality disorder

KW - COMORBIDITY

KW - CROSS-VALIDATION

KW - EMOTION DYSREGULATION

KW - MENTALIZATION

KW - Mentalizing

KW - Mindfulness

KW - OFFENDERS

KW - Offenders

KW - PROACTIVE AGGRESSION

KW - PSYCHOTHERAPY

KW - QUOTIENT

KW - SCALE

U2 - 10.1007/s12671-018-1048-3

DO - 10.1007/s12671-018-1048-3

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 1082

EP - 1090

JO - Mindfulness

JF - Mindfulness

SN - 1868-8527

IS - 6

ER -