To extend current knowledge on the role of emotion regulation in psychopathy, the present study sought to examine relationships between maladaptive (Attack Self, Attack Others, Avoidance, Withdrawal) and adaptive shame coping styles and psychopathic traits (interpersonal, affective, lifestyle, antisocial) in incarcerated violent offenders.
A sample of 266 men incarcerated for violent offenses in Italian prisons (Mage = 37.42, SD = 11.85) completed self-reported measures of shame coping styles, psychopathic traits, and emotion dysregulation. A path analysis was conducted to examine multivariate relationships between shame coping styles and psychopathic traits while controlling for levels of emotion dysregulation. Results: Externalizing shame coping styles (Avoidance, Attack Others) were positively related to psychopathic traits across domains. In addition, internalizing shame coping styles were negatively related to the interpersonal and affective traits (Attack Self) and the antisocial traits of psychopathy (Withdrawal). Finally, affective traits of psychopathy had a negative association with adaptive shame coping style.
Findings highlight that, beyond general problems with regulating negative emotional states, psychopathic individuals may use maladaptive strategies to cope with shame-eliciting situations, which could at the same time protect the self from the painful experience of shame while contributing to externalizing behavior.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Criminal Justice|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Psychopathic traits
- Shame regulation
- Self-conscious emotions
- Compass of shame
- Emotion regulation
- Emotion dysregulation
- EMOTION REGULATION