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Is female psychopathy linked with child abuse? An empirical investigation using a person-centered approach

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posted on 26.05.2022, 10:40 by Daniel Boduszek, Agata Debowska, Dominic WillmottDominic Willmott, Adele D Jones, Matthew DeLisi, Gillian Kirkman
Childhood abuse is associated with increased psychopathic features among girls, but most prior research is based on data from correctional samples of female delinquents and less is known about how specific forms of childhood abuse affect specific features of psychopathy. Using a school-based community sample of 696 girls aged 9–17 years from Barbados and Grenada, the current study examined latent profiles of psychopathic personality traits and their associations with physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Latent profile analysis (LPA) revealed four distinct psychopathy groups among girls, including a ‘low psychopathy’ group (41.9% of girls), ‘high psychopathy’ group (4.8%), ‘high interpersonal manipulation and egocentricity’ group (37.4%), and a ‘moderate psychopathy’ group (16%). There was considerable evidence of physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse among participants. Sexual abuse was associated with a 116% increased likelihood of membership in the high psychopathy group and a 57% increased likelihood of membership in the high interpersonal manipulation and egocentricity group. These results indicate that sexual abuse is a powerful distal factor in the development of psychopathic personality functioning, especially more severe variants.

Funding

European Union (EuropeAid/136243/DD/ACT/Multi – Towards a Future Free from Domestic Violence)

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy

Published in

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse

Volume

28

Issue

6

Pages

708 - 725

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor & Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. Daniel Boduszek, Agata Debowska, Dominic Willmott, Adele D. Jones, Matthew DeLisi & Gillian Kirkman (2019) Is Female Psychopathy Linked with Child Abuse? An Empirical Investigation using a Person-Centered Approach, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 28:6, 708-725, DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2019.1592272. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Acceptance date

20/02/2019

Publication date

2019-03-25

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

1053-8712

eISSN

1547-0679

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Dom Willmott. Deposit date: 21 April 2022