Aggression and violent behavior


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Aggression and Violent Behavior, A Review Journal is a multidisciplinary journal that publishes substantive and integrative reviews, as well as summary reports of innovative ongoing clinical research programs on a wide range of topics germane to the field of aggression and violent behavior. Papers encompass a large variety of issues, populations, and domains, including homicide (serial, spree, and mass murder: sexual homicide), sexual deviance and assault (rape, serial rape, child molestation, paraphilias), child and youth violence (firesetting, gang violence, juvenile sexual offending), family violence (child physical and sexual abuse, child neglect, incest, spouse and elder abuse), genetic predispositions, and the physiological basis of aggression.Manuscripts that articulate disparate orientations will be welcomed, given that this journal will be cross-disciplinary and cross-theoretical. Indeed, papers will emanate from numerous disciplines, psychology, psychiatry, criminology, crimi
Meine Notizen
A systematic literature review of intimate partner violence victimisation: An inclusive review across gender and sexuality
The traditional view of intimate partner violence (IPV) is that the perpetrator is male and the victim is female (Dobash, Dobash, Wilson & Daly, 1992). As a result of this, most research into victimisation experiences appears to be conducted with female victims of IPV (Morin, 2014), and research with male victims, and victims from the LGBTQ+ community is less common. The main aim of the current research was to conduct a systematic literature review to synthesise the literature base of IPV victimisation experiences to ascertain how abuse is experienced, and the effects of that abuse. The secondary aim was to investigate the prevalence of different victim groups, across gender and sexuality, in current research studies. The review highlighted that victims of IPV experience several different types of abuse and the negative mental and physical health outcomes associated with that abuse are significant. Additionally, it was found that the large majority of research studies included in the review were conducted with female victims in opposite-sex relationships, and were quantitative and cross-sectional in nature. The implications of these findings are discussed and suggestions for future research are put forward.
Life course persistent antisocial behavior silver anniversary
In 1993 Terrie Moffitt published a paper that proposed a dual developmental taxonomy of antisocial behavior. The paper triggered a cascade of research on types of criminal offending, thereby making it one of the most researched and most influential of all developmental theories of antisocial behavior. The silver anniversary of the paper's publication seems a fitting time to review the status of the life-course-persistent (LCP) group who Moffitt suggested would enable researchers to learn more about the etiology of severe, persistent antisocial behavior from studying this group than from studying the group that had its onset of antisocial behavior in adolescence. The LCP group was hypothesized to consist of a relatively few males whose early-onset of severe antisocial behavior would persist into adulthood and had its origins in neurodevelopmental deficits interacting with various environmental risk factors. This review assessed the evidence supporting these hypotheses and reviewed the findings for early identification of the LCP group—a topic that was only modestly addressed in 1993. Lastly, the paper discussed what is one of most significant impacts of the 1993 article, providing impetus to the early-years crime prevention movement.
Cyberbullying: Concepts, theories, and correlates informing evidence-based best practices for prevention
Emerging evidence has revealed that many characteristics of cyberbullying—its definition, prevalence rates, risk and protective factors, outcomes, and prevention strategies—are related and yet somewhat unique from traditional bullying. The ubiquity of technology in the lives of youth presents an opportunity for individuals to intentionally and repetitively harm others, 24 h per day, sometimes with complete anonymity, and often without consequence. This is concerning given the high rates of psychopathology associated with cybervictimization, over and above, traditional bullying. Given the current state of the field, this literature review provides a critical synthesis of the extant knowledge concerning (1) a definition of cyberbullying; (2) theories explaining cyberbullying; (3) prevalence rates; (4) a brief developmentally-focused overview of adolescents and their online use; (5) risk and protective factors; (6) negative psycho-social outcomes, over and above traditional bullying; and (7) a brief overview of prevention and intervention programming with information for key stakeholders. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Omega-3 fatty acids in cause, prevention and management of violence in schizophrenia: Conceptualization and application
Schizophrenia is a disabling neurological disorder. Patients with this disease are at higher risk to violence. This paper reviewed the recent literatures with respect to the heterogeneous nature of the abnormalities and pathophysiological and biological risk markers that link to violent behavior in patients with schizophrenia with a particular interest in lipid metabolism. We have focused on altered lipid profile including polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may have attributed to the development of aggressive behavior in patients with schizophrenia. We addressed questions on how aberrant lipid metabolism affects brain structure and function, and how lipids modulate neurotransmission activity during progression of this devastating disease. Many clinical studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce transition rate to psychosis and serve as additive to reduce the violence. We postulate that the beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on violence may act through modulating neuronal membrane lipid structure and neurotransmission. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms how these pathways modulate aggression may facilitate development of strategies to prevent, ameliorate or reduce the manifestation of violence.
Why we cannot explain cross-cultural differences in risk assessment
The prediction and explanation of crime currently relies predominantly upon the concept of dynamic risk factors (DRF). Evidence suggests that DRF vary across cultures with respect to their prevalence and their predictive validity (e.g., Olver, Stockdale, & Wormith, 2014). What remains unclear is whether the observed differences can be explained by real cultural differences in the causes of crime; and if this is the case, how does culture influence this' We suggest that confusion arises due to conceptual problems with DRF and their measurement. Because DRF are vague, composite, and value-laden constructs researchers are unable to minimize or control for the occurrence of construct or item bias when scores on risk measures are compared across cultures. This makes any further interpretation and adjustment to assessment or intervention unwarranted. If we do not know whether or how DRF cause violence within the cultural context of their development, we cannot possibly hope to explain this relationship in another culture. We suggest that there is a pressing need to provide coherent theories for research, risk assessment and treatment in the future. We will discuss possible ways forward in this paper.
Improving approaches in psychotherapy and domestic violence interventions for perpetrators from marginalized ethnic groups
Abstract
The major goal of this paper is to review the existing therapeutic approaches in domestic violence perpetrator interventions by illustrating their effectiveness in reducing and ending the violent behaviour of men from marginalized ethnic groups. The paper aims to discuss how services can efficiently respond to historically marginalized ethnic perpetrators' needs and circumstances based on their social and cultural contexts. This article reviews literature about the success of domestic violence intervention approaches among marginalized ethnic group perpetrators. While each intervention approach highlights key practices for revealing violent behaviour, the combination of integrative approaches and culturally-sensitive strategies appear to be more effective for perpetrators from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. This article contributes to debates about culturally-sensitive approaches by discussing the importance of professionals' skills for enhancing marginalized ethnic perpetrators' motivations to remain engaged in the intervention process. It recommends a number of key culturally-specific strategies for this purpose.
Racial and ethnic differences in bullying: Review and implications for intervention
Despite increased research on bullying over the past few decades, researchers still have little understanding of how bullying differentially affects racial and ethnic minority and immigrant youth. To facilitate efforts to better evaluate the impact of bullying among racial and ethnic minority youth and improve interventions, we integrated research from multiple disciplines and conducted a systematic search to review relevant cross-cultural research on the prevalence of bullying, risk and protective factors, and differences in behaviors and outcomes associated with bullying in these populations. Studies measuring differences in bullying prevalence by racial and ethnic groups are inconclusive, and discrepancies in findings may be explained by differences in how bullying is measured and the impact of school and social environments. Racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants are disproportionately affected by contextual-level risk factors associated with bullying (e.g., adverse community, home, and school environments), which may moderate the effects of individual-level predictors of bullying victimization or perpetration (e.g., depressive symptoms, empathy, hostility, etc.) on involvement and outcomes. Minority youth may be more likely to perpetrate bullying, and are at much higher risk for poor health and behavioral outcomes as a result of bias-based bullying. At the same time, racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants may be protected against bullying involvement and its negative consequences as a result of strong ethnic identity, positive cultural and family values, and other resilience factors. Considering these findings, we evaluate existing bullying interventions and prevention programs and propose directions for future research.
Risk factors for elder abuse and neglect: A review of the literature
Abstract
Elder abuse is a global problem gaining recognition due to its severe impact on victims and the ageing population. Increased recognition has led to the investigation of perpetrator and victim characteristics that increase the risk of elder abuse. The identification of such risk factors can assist practitioners in preventing abuse, determining the risk of continued elder abuse and, where factors are dynamic, can be targets for risk management. This literature review identifies and describes perpetrator and victim risk factors for elder abuse with the goal of informing professional practice and providing the basis for an empirically derived risk assessment instrument for elder abuse. Electronic searches identified 198 studies that met the eligibility criteria. The studies reviewed provide evidence supporting eight risk factors related to the perpetrator that increase their risk of continued elder abuse and eight victim vulnerability factors that place the victim at heightened risk of elder abuse. Hypotheses raised by researchers to account for the associations are outlined. The practical utility of the risk and vulnerability factors are described. The need for and approach to developing a structured method to assess and manage elder abuse risk based on the empirically supported risk and vulnerability factors is discussed.
Public significance statement
Empirically supported dynamic risk factors for elder abuse are identifiable for perpetrators and victims of abuse in the existing research literature. These risk factors can be utilised by professionals to inform their practice and target risk management efforts.
The grooming of children for sexual abuse in religious settings: Unique characteristics and select case studies
This article examines the sexual grooming of children and their caregivers in a wide variety of religious settings. We argue that unique aspects of religion facilitate institutional and interpersonal grooming in ways that often differ from forms of manipulation in secular settings. Drawing from Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism, and Seventh-day Adventism) and various sects (the Children of God, the Branch Davidians, the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints, a Hindu ashram, and the Devadasis), we show how some religious institutions and leadership figures in them can slowly cultivate children and their caregivers into harmful and illegal sexual activity. A number of uniquely religious characteristics facilitate this cultivation, which includes: theodicies of legitimation; power, patriarchy, obedience, protection, and reverence towards authority figures; victims' fears about spiritual punishments; and scriptural uses to justify adult-child sex.
Correlates of youth violence in low- and middle-income countries: A meta-analysis
The highest rates of serious interpersonal violence occur in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) especially in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub–Saharan Africa. However, previous reviews of risk factors for youth violence focused almost entirely on studies from high-income countries (HICs). Rigorous synthesis of evidence is needed for LMICs. We conducted a meta-analysis of studies of youth violence in LMICs, identified by extensive searches in seven languages. Studies reporting correlates of violence perpetration in samples of 100 or more 10–29 year-olds from the general population in LMICs were included in the review. Eighty-six studies including 480,898 individuals from 60 countries were eligible for meta-analysis. Violent outcomes included fighting, carrying a weapon and other interpersonal violent behaviors (e.g. assault). The strongest correlates of youth violence (OR ≥ 2.5) were: male sex, impulsivity, conduct problems, sexual intercourse at an early age, smoking, alcohol use, using illicit drugs, being bullied, suffering criminal victimization, having deviant/delinquent peers, and watching violent television. We conclude that many correlates of youth violence in LMICs are similar to those that have been identified in HICs, but other biological, psychological, and cultural predictors remain to be tested in LMICs. Implications for research and policy are discussed.
Consistently inconsistent: A systematic review of the measurement of pornography use
Research indicates that pornography use is now practically ubiquitous among males and continually increasing among females. These statistics are concerning in light of decades of research signaling that pornography use may be associated with sexually coercive behavior. Though the relationship between pornography use and sexual coercion has been a focus of concern, the apparent inconsistency in methods used to assess pornography limits the field from approaching a consensus on the strength of this relationship, as well as developing a thorough understanding regarding which aspects of pornography use drive this relationship. The purpose of the current study is to systematically review the literature on pornography use over the last ten years. This review will provide an updated examination of the operationalization and assessment of pornography use in peer-reviewed studies, synthesize the assessment of pornography use from various disciplines, and provide suggestions for the assessment of pornography use moving forward. Results of this review will serve as a potential guideline for the improvement of methodologies used to assess pornography use, and to facilitate movement towards more consistent methodological approaches to strengthen research examining the relationship between pornography use and sexual coercion.
Cyber dating abuse (CDA): Evidence from a systematic review
Youth use a variety of digital tools to initiate, develop, and maintain a dating relationship. By doing so, youth become more accessible and vulnerable to interpersonal intrusiveness, which can promote certain forms of victimization, such as Cyber Dating Abuse (CDA). The present study provides a systematic review aimed to identify the studies that have been developed on youth CDA, describing their methodology, main objectives and findings, as well the constructs used. We identified 44 studies that met our inclusion criteria. Research on CDA has less than a decade and has mainly been developed in North America. Studies focused on the prevalence rates, the relation between CDA and other variables, and on developing and validating measures. Prevalence rates were variable, which was mainly due to the different methodological characteristics of the studies, such as the measure, participants' demographics, and the time lag of assessment. Nine tools were validated with, in general, diverse factor solutions. CDA was related to a wide range of individual variables and others types of interpersonal violence (e.g., offline dating violence, cyberbullying), but it is unknown if these variables are risk factors or consequences of CDA, since the majority of the studies used cross-sectional designs.
Why theory matters in correctional psychology
Effective and ethical psychological practice relies on good science, and good science takes theory construction very seriously, as seriously as data collection. There is little point in developing valid research designs and sophisticated data analytic techniques if the ideas driving research are mistaken or trivial. In this paper I explore the problem of theoretical illiteracy for correctional psychological research and practice. First, I discuss why theory is important in science and the dangers of ignoring it. Second, I review the role of theory in addressing the myriad of practical problems facing human beings. Third, I outline three strategies to increase researchers and practitioners' appreciation of theory construction and development: adopting a more comprehensive model of scientific method, epistemic iteration, and promoting model pluralism. Fourth, I take an example of a core concept from correctional psychology, that of dynamic risk factors, and demonstrate how the above strategies can be used to rectify problems with this construct. Finally, I discuss the research, practice and normative implications of my approach to addressing theoretical illiteracy.
The role of income inequality on factors associated with male physical Intimate Partner Violence perpetration: A meta-analysis
This study examines the influence of income inequality on risk markers for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in countries with low and high income inequality measured by the GINI index. Examining male perpetration of IPV, we used meta-analytic procedures to learn if income inequality moderated the strength of the relationship between well-established risk markers and IPV. We found that young age, relationship dissatisfaction, violence towards non-family members, and emotional abuse perpetration were significantly stronger risk markers for countries with high income inequality than for countries with low income inequality. We also found that having experienced trauma was a significantly stronger risk marker for countries with low income inequality than for countries with high income inequality. We also ran additional analyses between high and low income inequality countries excluding research conducted in the United States. Here we found that perpetrating emotional abuse, relationship dissatisfaction, and witnessing IPV in family of origin were all significantly stronger risk markers in high income inequality countries compared to low income inequality countries Our findings suggest that income inequality impacts risk markers for male IPV perpetration.
The effect of mindfulness practice on aggression and violence levels in adults: A systematic review
Violence and aggression represent a serious problem, with significant cost and impact at individual and societal level. There has been increasing interest in the potential of mindfulness interventions to decrease levels of violence and aggression. This paper systematically reviews the evidence to assess the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions for the reduction of violence and aggression levels. Five electronic databases were searched, and methods followed published guidance for systematic reviews. Studies that used a mindfulness intervention and measured outcomes of aggression and violence in adult populations were included. The Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies was utilised to evaluate the quality of included studies. Twenty-two studies met the eligibility criteria, including fourteen randomised studies, three non-randomised studies and five cohort studies. The interventions investigated included mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and yoga with meditation.
Overall, the results suggest that mindfulness-based interventions, with the possible exception of DBT, may be effective in reducing aggression and violence. They also suggest that mindfulness may relate to the processes of aggression through emotion regulation. However, papers were of variable quality, with weaknesses in both methodology and the reporting of data. Further good quality controlled studies with full and transparent reporting are needed to confirm these results, and to explore the elements of mindfulness which interact with mechanisms of aggression.
Do adult males with antisocial personality disorder (with and without co-morbid psychopathy) have deficits in emotion processing and empathy' A systematic review
Background
A lack of concern for the feelings, needs or suffering of others and lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating others are key characteristics of Antisocial Personality Disorder and suggest that impaired emotion processing and empathy may contribute to antisocial behaviour. Whilst psychopathy is more commonly associated with an absence of empathy and emotional affect, the nature of emotion processing and empathy deficits specific to adult male ASPD populations with and without co-morbid psychopathy has not been systematically reviewed.
Aim
To determine the nature of emotion processing and empathy deficits specific to adult male ASPD populations with and without co-morbid psychopathy.
Method
We conducted a literature search across seven electronic databases and a range of grey literature sites, hand-searched reference lists of relevant papers and contacted fourteen authors of published studies related to this topic. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied and quality assessments undertaken on eligible studies.
Results
Searches located 10,217 records and 205 were fully assessed. 22 were identified as suitable for inclusion in this review and 19 reported evidence of emotion processing deficits in ASPD groups with and without co-morbid psychopathy.
Conclusion
This review found no evidence of empathy deficits in ASPD groups with or without co-morbid psychopathy and only limited evidence of diminished startle reactivity in those with ASPD alone. In contrast, ASPD groups with co-morbid psychopathy were found to exhibit aberrant patterns of affective reactivity and difficulty when processing negative/aversive stimuli which lends support to the notion that these groups may be differentiated in terms of emotional dysfunction. However, as the majority of reviewed studies employed ASPD groups that included participants with co-morbid psychopathy/psychopathic traits and did not delineate effects for ASPD groups with and without co-morbid psychopathy, the degree to which emotion processing deficits were mediated by co-morbid psychopathy or evident in ASPD alone could not be established and further research to compare emotion processing and empathy in both groups is required before firm conclusions can be drawn about the extent of overlap between these populations and/or the differences that exist between them.
Approaching the study of cyberbullying towards social workers from a systems perspective
To date, cyberbullying research has been conducted without coherent, shared conceptual and operational definitions and with no clear, agreed theoretical ground. Hence, there is great confusion as to how to classify, measure and analyze this phenomenon. In response, this article proposes applying the systems approach developed in safety engineering, as a possible theoretical framework for investigation into cyberbullying. Central to the systems approach is the conceptualization of the relationship between people and technology as a joint system, with the focus of exploration being on how it interacts with the wider environment. Looking at cyberbullying through the systems lens dramatically broadens the analysis of the factors that influence behavior, with greater attention paid to the social arrangements. The current article illustrates how the core systems concepts of “socio-technical systems,” “emergent,” “multiple levels of analysis,” and “local rationality” can be transferred to the context of client cyberbullying towards professionals – specifically social workers – and contribute new knowledge and understanding to what seems to be developing into a serious problem.
Fight and flight: Examining putative links between social anxiety and youth aggression
Somewhat surprisingly, social anxiety has been linked with aggressive behavior in adults. Among youth, this connection has been demonstrated with anxiety symptoms more broadly. This review extends previous work by evaluating this association specifically with social anxiety in the child and adolescent literature. Given the complexities of aggressive behavior, the review is organized by its various forms (relational and physical) and functions (reactive and proactive). Findings from sixteen identified studies are suggestive of links between social anxiety and reactive and relational forms of aggression. Albeit more tenuous, there appear to be associations with physical aggression as well. Overall, though suggestive of connections between social anxiety and aggression, confidence in the findings is attenuated by the relatively small number of relevant studies combined with inconsistent gender findings. Before suggesting directions for further study, we propose putative dysfunctional biological, emotional, and cognitive processes as factors that may underlie associations between social anxiety and these particular forms of aggression. Future research should target differences in age, gender, relationship type, and anxiety subtype. Determining the extent to which these associations may be attributable to comorbid pathology such as depression or a broader internalizing syndrome is also important.
Childhood and adolescent animal cruelty and subsequent interpersonal violence in adulthood: A review of the literature
Animal cruelty has been a growing concern worldwide, and is broadly defined as all socially unacceptable behaviors that are intentionally perpetrated to cause unnecessary pain, suffering, distress, and/or death to an animal. This review synthesizes more than 87 research studies identified through online databases and manual search of specific studies. Findings denote that beating, hitting, or kicking, shooting, strangling or smothering, stabbing, and sexual abusing are reported to be the commonly used methods in abusing animals. In addition, children and adolescents abused animals for different reasons; and those who exposed to domestic violence are likely to have higher rates of animal cruelty, which in turn increases their subsequent propensity to engage in delinquent behavior. Male children and adolescents are more likely than their female counterparts to commit acts of animal cruelty. It is noteworthy that early onset of animal cruelty acts is suggested to be predictive of subsequent violent or antisocial behavior. Arguably, bestiality is an act of animal abuse, or specifically as interspecies sexual abuse. More importantly, this review has noted a strong support for the increased risk of children and adolescents who commit animal cruelty to perpetrate interpersonal violence against human victims in later life. Five key theoretical models (i.e., social learning theory, frustration theory, deviance generalization hypothesis, graduation hypothesis, and sexual polymorphous theory) are discussed to explain the link between childhood and/or adolescent animal cruelty and subsequent violence against human victims in adulthood. Implications for research and future research are discussed.
A systematic review of comprehensive interventions for substance abuse: Focus on victimization
Violence victimization is common among men and women who use substances and is associated with co-occurring health issues such as PTSD, depression and HIV. Substance use interventions, therefore, should include integrated components that are designed to address co-occurring health issues among victimized substance-using individuals. This systematic review synthesized the evidence on efficacy of comprehensive, integrated, multicomponent interventions for victimized substance-using individuals. The efficacy of integrated multicomponent intervention strategies was assessed for the following syndemic conditions: mental health, substance misuse, violence, and HIV risk. Seventeen studies were identified. Examples of effective components were empowerment strategies for violence, mindfulness-based stress reduction for mental health, social cognitive skill building for addressing HIV risk and psychoeducation for substance misuse. Although in this review, some components were found to be effective, we identified methodological limitations of included studies which calls for more rigorous research in this area. Further, there is lack of evidence base for multicomponent interventions for victimized substance-using individuals in developing countries. Additional studies are needed to establish rigorous evidence base for multicomponent interventions for victimized substance using individuals that help them cope effectively with their trauma of violence and address their needs.
Persistent material hardship and childhood physical aggression
Some developmental models of childhood aggression deny any influence of socioeconomic status (SES), while others stress a more central role. We argue that greater attention to persistent material hardship (i.e., inability to provide for basic needs) may enhance the centrality of SES in developmental approaches. We analyze a longitudinal sample of children in the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, and examine whether persistent material hardship shapes patterns of childhood aggression. We find that while the majority of children are insulated, some experience multiple, enduring hardships. More importantly, experiencing a single, persistent hardship during the period of childhood increases the likelihood of aggression by 4.8% among males and 6.4% among females, a magnitude that is comparable to the influence of impulsivity. Findings warrant greater attention to the consequences of material hardship in theoretical models and life course research that goes beyond the traditionally-examined indicators of SES.
Impulsivity and aggression: A meta-analysis using the UPPS model of impulsivity
Trait impulsivity has long been proposed to play a role in aggression, but the results across studies have been mixed. One possible explanation for the mixed results is that impulsivity is a multifaceted construct and some, but not all, facets are related to aggression. The goal of the current meta-analysis was to determine the relation between the different facets of impulsivity (i.e., negative urgency, positive urgency, lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, and sensation seeking) and aggression. The results from 93 papers with 105 unique samples (N = 36, 215) showed significant and small-to-medium correlations between each facet of impulsivity and aggression across several different forms of aggression, with more impulsivity being associated with more aggression. Moreover, negative urgency (r = 0.24, 95% [0.18, 0.29]), positive urgency (r = 0.34, 95% [0.19, 0.44]), and lack of premeditation (r = 0.23, 95% [0.20, 0.26]) had significantly stronger associations with aggression than the other scales (rs < 0.18). Two-stage meta-analytic structural equation modeling showed that these effects were not due to overlap among facets of impulsivity. These results help advance the field of aggression research by clarifying the role of impulsivity and may be of interest to researchers and practitioners in several disciplines.
Examining the relationships between impulsivity, aggression, and recidivism for prisoners with antisocial personality disorder
Impulsivity impacts multiple life domains and is related to criminal and problematic behaviors. In forensic contexts, impulsivity and aggression are often associated with psychiatric issues. Personality disorders are related to worse prognosis, increased relapse, and damage to relationships. The aim of this study was to clarify the impact of psychopathy, impulsivity, and aggression on recidivism, and to investigate the relationships between these dimensions in prisoners with and without Antisocial Personality Disorder. The forensic sample included inmates with (n = 50) or without Antisocial Personality Disorder (n = 50). We measured psychopathic traits with the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM), impulsivity with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), and aggression with the Impulsive/Premeditated Aggression Scale (IPAS). There were significant between-group differences regarding premeditated aggression and attentional impulsivity. For inmates with antisocial personality disorder, impulsive aggression was related to recidivism (number of times in jail). Their level of psychopathy was related to premeditated aggression and motor impulsivity. Impulsive aggression, like attentional impulsivity, was related to recidivism only for inmates with antisocial personality disorder. In conclusion, psychopathy is associated with recidivism; moreover, impulsivity and aggression are central to recidivism for these individuals.
Negotiating in the skies of Hong Kong: The efficacy of the Behavioral Influence Stairway Model (BISM) in suicidal crisis situations
Law enforcement agencies often deal with dangerous, difficult, and disordered individuals by applying the theory and practice of tactical negotiation composed of a unique application of communication techniques aimed at obtaining voluntary compliance. Known as hostage or crisis negotiation, law enforcement tactical negotiation (LETN) has shown to be an effective technique for resolving barricaded hostage and crisis situations, kidnappings, and suicidal incidents. Over the years, there have been several models of LETN, however; most of them are based on the assumption that the person is rational and views the officer as credible; however, in situations where people are in crisis, emotions control their actions rather than reason. Therefore, being successful requires the officer to return the subject to a rational state of mind and establish trust. If either of these, elements are missing, then traditional negotiation will most likely fail in gaining voluntary compliance in a timely manner. This is especially true with suicidal persons who have exceeded their ability to cope with their situation and believe that no one will help them. The Behavioral Influence Stairway Model (BISM) operates on the premise that a state of personal crisis occurs when coping and social support mechanisms fail and that to end the crisis, at least one of these elements must be restored. In these situations, the BISM provides the method by which the officer re-establishes social support through effectively dealing with emotions (thus returning the individual to a rational state of mind) and demonstrating empathy (thus obtaining trust).
In Hong Kong, the Police Negotiation Cadre (PNC) routinely deals with a unique form of suicide where persons in crisis frequently choose jumping off high-rise buildings as their preferred means of suicide. Unlike in the United States, where a significant number of suicides involve barricaded individuals with firearms, most LETN in Hong Kong is accomplished face-to-face, since officer safety relating to firearms is atypical. Despite these differences in structure, culture, and language, the BISM is routinely used to successfully resolve suicidal situations in Hong Kong, based on the theory that emotions and relationship needs are universal and not contingent on context. Therefore, this article will present an updated version of the BISM and extend the principles of the BISM cross-culturally by providing evidence of its efficacy in negotiating with suicidal persons who threaten to jump from multi-story buildings in Hong Kong.
The role of infant socialization and self-control in understanding reactive-overt and relational aggression: A 15-year study
The present study employed parallel analyses to develop a greater understanding of the relationships between infant socialization (maternal sensitivity and home quality), early childhood self-control (attentional focusing, inhibitory control, gratification delay, and self-control), and measures of reactive-overt and relational aggression, assessed from ages 8.5 to 15 years. Self-reported, mother reported, and observational data were employed from a national sample of N = 1364 children (the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care and Youth Development Study). Findings provided evidence that positive infant socialization during the first two years of life positively predicted self-control that in turn negatively predicted both reactive-overt and relational aggression at age 8.5 years. In addition, socialization effects also maintained positive direct effects on continued developmental changes in both measures of aggression at age 10.5 years (relational), 11.5 years (reactive-overt and relational), and 15 years (reactive-overt and relational). Self-control negatively predicted developmental changes in both measures of aggression at 11.5 years. These findings highlight the long-term developmental effects of positive infant socialization experiences for the developmental course of reactive-overt and relational aggression, but also the salience of self-regulatory capacities in understanding the etiology of and ongoing developmental changes of aggressive behaviors.
A life history approach to understanding juvenile offending and aggression
Life history theory has been used to understand how harsh and unpredictable environments contribute to risk behaviors. The theory suggests that exposure to negative environments leads individuals to adopt a “fast” life strategy, which is hypothesized to make individuals more likely to engage in risky behavior that is associated with immediate rewards. Using data from a sample of 1216 justice-involved male youth, we defined distinct groups of youth with a “fast” versus “slow” life strategy, based on their scores on measures of sensation seeking, impulse control, future orientation, consideration of others, and suppression of aggression. A logistic regression was used to test how different environmental factors predicted LH strategy group membership. Having a fast strategy was associated with greater victimization, higher parental hostility, and lower quality home environments. Growth curve models were used to examine group differences in offending and aggression over five years. Youth with a fast life strategy engaged in more violent and non-violent offending, as well as more relational and physical aggression. Although there were significant decreases in these behaviors within both groups over the five years, these group differences remained consistent over time.
Government political structure and violent death rates: A longitudinal analysis of forty-three countries, 1960–2008
Objectives
Currently, little is known regarding the effect of regime type on mortality on a global level. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of regime type on the rates of violent deaths (homicide, suicide, and combined rates).
Methods
Three measures of democracy were used to quantify regime type, the independent variable. Homicide and suicide rates were obtained from the World Health Organization. Multivariate conditional fixed-effects models were run to examine associations between regime characteristics and logged rates of homicide, suicide, and violent deaths. Models were adjusted for unemployment and economic inequality.
Results
Nations that scored higher on democracy indices, especially emerging democracies, experienced increased mortality due to violence. Homicide and suicide were divergent, showing a different time course and decreasing statistical power as a combined variable. Unemployment and inequality were associated with higher violence-related mortality.
Conclusions
Homicide and suicide appear to be more prevalent in democracies. Future analyses should examine which aspects of democracies lead to higher rates of violent death and should seek to use independently collected mortality data.
Special issue introduction
Author(s): Alex R. Piquero
Violence and health: Merging criminal justice, law, mental health, and public health - Part B: Policy and institutional actors as nexuses for criminal justice and public health
Author(s): Bandy X. Lee, Grace Lee, Paul Bryant, Morkeh Blay-Tofey, Erik Kramer
Childhood risk factors for personality disorder symptoms related to violence
Objectives
This study investigated the relations between childhood risk factors, adult personality disorder symptoms, and violence convictions up to age 61.
Method
Data was used from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a prospective longitudinal study of 411 males from South London who were regularly interviewed between ages 8 and 48. In this sample, childhood risk factors were assessed, along with DSM-IV Axis-II personality disorders, and violence convictions.
Results
Findings confirm and extend previous results indicating associations between several different personality disorder symptoms and violence. Particularly, symptoms of cluster A and cluster B personality disorders at age 48 were most strongly associated with lifetime violent acts. Results also support the hypothesis that adult personality disorder symptoms are predicted by exposure to childhood traumatic experiences, including family breakdown, parental neglect, and physical as well as emotional abuse.
Conclusion
Families and schools seem to be particularly crucial environments which may influence the development of personality disorders and behavioral problems such as violence. More prospective longitudinal studies are needed to further disentangle the complex interactions between psychosocial family factors, personality disorders and violent behavior and to further explore their underlying mechanisms in order to inform more effective intervention programs.
Truancy intervention and violent offending: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial
Violent offending and violent offenders occupy a key policy issue and policy group for prevention and intervention efforts. Research has examined an array of risk factors implicated in predicting violent offending, but interventions aimed at reducing these risk factors and their effect on violence have been less investigated, especially those within a randomized trial. We use data from a truancy reduction experiment in Australia to examine whether participants in the program, relative to a control group, enjoyed ancillary benefits related to the relationship between risk factors and violence. Results provide partial support in that the program weakened the effects of some of the risk factors on violence over time, but not all of the risk factors. Findings also show that the probability of violence was higher in the control group relative to the experimental group when looking at the cumulative social risk factors. Implications and directions for future research are highlighted.
The propensity for aggressive behavior and lifetime incarceration risk: A test for gene-environment interaction (G × E) using whole-genome data
Incarceration is a disruptive event that is experienced by a considerable proportion of the United States population. Research has identified social factors that predict incarceration risk, but scholars have called for a focus on the ways that individual differences combine with social factors to affect incarceration risk. Our study is an initial attempt to heed this call using whole-genome data. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (N = 6716) to construct a genome-wide measure of genetic propensity for aggressive behavior and use it to predict lifetime incarceration risk. We find that participants with a higher genetic propensity for aggression are more likely to experience incarceration, but the effect is stronger for males than females. Importantly, we identify a gene-environment interaction (G × E)—genetic propensity is reduced, substantively and statistically, to a non-significant predictor for males raised in homes where at least one parent graduated high school. We close by placing these findings in the broader context of concerns that have been raised about genetics research in criminology.
Assessing general strain theory and measures of victimization, 2002–2018
General Strain Theory (GST) is one of the leading theories of crime and delinquency in the field of criminology, with victimization identified as a leading source of strain due to the frequency and prevalence of its experience. However, measures of victimization widely range from direct experiences of physical violence to vicarious or even anticipated victimization, making it difficult to isolate the explanatory contribution of GST on crime and delinquency. A systematic review was conducted of peer-reviewed articles to provide a concise understanding of the relationship between victimization and crime and delinquency. Particular attention was given to definitions and operationalization of victimization, as well as whether the studies used longitudinal or cross-sectional samples. Findings suggest a discernible correlation between physical victimization measures and engagement in substance use, bullying behaviors, and general delinquency. However, these findings may be conditioned by the exact operationalization of victimization and outcome measures utilized. More nuanced discussions of the findings, as well as theoretical and empirical implications, are included.
Dynamic risk factors: Conceptualization, measurement, and evidence
The concept of “criminogenic need” is firmly entrenched within forensic research and practice. So much so that its status is rarely questioned, and its central role in risk reduction and management is accepted at face value. However, the analogue concept of dynamic risk factor (DRF) has recently come under scrutiny, with criticisms centering upon its composite nature and lack of coherence. These criticisms challenge the presumed causality of these factors, and thus their role in practice. In order to test this assumption this paper addresses three questions: 1) how are DRF conceptualized within the recent literature' 2) How are they measured' 3) What is the evidence that they a) change, b) that these changes predict outcomes (i.e., reduced recidivism), and c) that treatment targeting DRF influences this process' The answers can provide support for or cast doubt upon the status of DRF in the prediction and explanation of offending.
Continuity of the delinquent career behind bars: Predictors of violent misconduct among female delinquents
While many scholars have investigated potential predictors of institutional misconduct among adult inmates, few have assessed the determinants of misconduct among incarcerated juvenile delinquents. This lack of research attention to the predictors of institutional misconduct is especially notable among female delinquents. As females have been theorized to have unique pathways to offending, it is pertinent to examine their pathways to institutional misconduct. The current study investigates potential predictors of violent misconduct among a large sample (n = 1061) of state-committed serious female delinquents in a large southern state. Using negative binomial regression models, a large number of variables were examined that describe the youths' background, delinquency history, and commitment offense. While only a few individual-level factors such as poor mental health predicted violent misconduct, a larger number of delinquent history measures such as committing a violent offense and being sentenced to a blended sentence emerged as important predictors of involvement in violent institutional misconduct. Policy implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.
Parental supervision and later offending: A systematic review of longitudinal studies
Abstract
Parental supervision has been identified as an important influence on offending. This systematic review focuses specifically on parental supervision, compared to existing systematic reviews which tend to concentrate on a wider range of family factors. The main aim of this article is to assess the precise nature of the association between parental supervision and offending. Overall, 19 prospective longitudinal studies were identified (published since 1996) which met the inclusion criteria. The results show a weighted mean effect size (ES) of Cohen's d = 0.37 between parental supervision and later offending. This review discovered that studies use different types of behavior to define parental supervision. Interestingly, a larger weighted mean effect size (d = 0.45) was found for studies measuring ‘level of parental knowledge’ compared to studies measuring ‘child disclosure to parents’ (d = 0.33) or ‘parental rule setting’ (d = 0.14). The results suggest that the strength of social bonds is important for enabling parents to maintain high levels of knowledge. Prevention programs should aim to develop robust channels of communication that increase parental knowledge regarding the activities of their children. Future research should also clarify the definition of parental supervision, in order to make it possible to compare different studies of parenting.
Violence and health: Merging criminal justice, law, mental health, and public health - Part A: Neuroscience, epidemiology, and revisionist discourse
Author(s): Bandy X. Lee, Maya Prabhu, Grace Lee, Erik Kramer, Morkeh Blay-Tofey
Peers as Law Enforcement Support (PALS): An early prevention program
Police officers encounter a variety of stressors, most of which are unique to the profession. These can exact a toll on an officer's mental health, and leave them at increased risk for experiencing psychological problems. However, due to stigma surrounding mental health, as well as traditional law enforcement culture, many officers find it difficult to report, or seek help for, difficulties due to fear of repercussions and/or distrust. Consequently, the potential value of incorporating trained peers as a “first line of defense” has received increased attention. This article describes the Peers as Law Enforcement Support (PALS) program developed in a collaboration between a local police agency and University psychology department. Results of a pilot study evaluating participants' perspectives on course content and quality of instruction are presented. Finally, the need for a broad spectrum approach to prevention and intervention of mental health issues in officers is underscored.
Preventing violence against children at schools in resource-poor environments: Operational culture as an overarching entry point
This paper articulates a case for prioritizing prevention of violence against children (VAC) at schools in resource poor environments of developing countries. The first section makes a broad case for why it is important to focus on schools as an entry point for preventing VAC. The second section discusses how the whole school approaches prevalent in developed nations such as Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) can be adapted and contextualized for resource poor environments. The paper delineates between school climate and the operational culture of a school and discusses why practical approaches tend to address the latter. The final section of the paper discusses an evidence-based example of such an approach; the Good School Toolkit for preventing VAC at schools in resource poor environments. The paper concludes by articulating strategic considerations to bear in mind when designing such interventions.
Why we should universalize the insanity defense and replace punishment with therapy and education
The insanity defense, which exempts those judged to be insane from being punished for whatever illegal acts they have committed, exists in order to be the exception that proves the rule: namely, that illegal acts, except those committed by the insane, deserve punishment, since they are produced by a person who chose to do what he knew was wrong; and that the only questions we need to ask are moral and legal ones: “how evil was he, and how much punishment does he deserve'” This article will be devoted to showing why punishment, far from preventing violence, is the most powerful stimulant to violence that we have yet discovered; and that we need to replace it with empirically tested policies that do prevent violence. To speak of universalizing the insanity defense is simply another way to speak of abolishing punishment. The article will show why we should abandon the notion that prisons can be reformed, and instead replace them with safe, secure residential colleges and therapeutic communities. This would mean thinking of violence as a problem in public health and preventive medicine, about which we ask “what are the causes of violence, and how can we prevent it'”
Tracking narrative change in the context of extremism and terrorism: Adapting the Innovative Moments Coding System
Existing models of deradicalisation, countering violent extremism (CVE), and counter-terrorism (CT) have lacked a clear theory of change, as well as robust empirical methodologies. This paper proposes an empirically-based systematic and transparent methodology – the Innovative Moments Coding System (IMCS) – which is empirically sensitive, ethically defensible, and can be of use in the context of research to inform practitioner contexts. Through a case study of former violent militants, we explore the adaptation and usage of this instrument to identify and track self-narrative change in the processes of engagement and disengagement, as well as radicalisation and deradicalisation in the context of violent extremism and terrorism. We illustrate how this methodology has the potential to bring benefits to the work of researchers involved in producing guidelines for disengagement, deradicalisation or risk-reduction interventions.
Juvenile Firesetters as multiple problem youth with particular interests in fire: A meta-analysis
Juveniles are overrepresented among arson offenders, though previous research has been mixed in identifying key risk factors differentiating juvenile firesetters from youth who do not light unsanctioned fires. The current meta-analysis examined all published and available unpublished research over a 30-year period, examining risk and protective factors associated with youth firesetting. Control groups comprised youth living in the community, forensic samples, and clinic referred youth. Across 39 independent samples with 22,292 juveniles, fire specific variables yielded the strongest differentiation between firesetters and non-firesetters, particularly history of fire involvement and fire interest. Juvenile firesetters had significantly more extensive histories of problematic behaviours, experienced adverse familial events, elevated rates of emotional dysregulation, and greater prevalence of mental health disorders compared to youth not involved in firesetting. Protective factors were less often identified for firesetters compared to non-firesetters. The findings highlight juvenile firesetters often experience multiple problems, magnified by a history of interest and involvement in firesetting. Hence, interventions with juvenile firesetters need to target multiple problem areas while assisting youth to redirecting interests towards non-antisocial pursuits. Caution is noted in interpreting the findings, with significant heterogeneity identified for most effect sizes across studies.
Moving beyond prison rape: Assessing sexual victimization among youth in custody
This integrated literature review discusses the need to treat youth in custody distinctly from adult carceral populations when examining sexual victimization. Although the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) mandates correctional facilities address sexual assault in both populations, the lack of available information on risk factors among youth may lead to practitioners and policy-makers becoming reliant on the adult literature when making decisions on preventative and reactive care for juveniles. Such extrapolation may lead to an inadequate or even inappropriate response for youth in custody. A research agenda using an ecological framework to determine youth-specific individual and structural level risk factors is proposed. Findings demonstrate differences in sexual victimization risk factors for adults in jails and prisons compared to youth in custody. This review serves as a foundation for moving research on this topic to juvenile custody settings while also acknowledging the challenges associated with conducting such research among youth in custody.
Neurobiological findings of the psychopathic personality in adults: One century of history
This review intends to produce a historical overview of the psychobiological bases of psychopathy from the first studies using biological or neuropsychological measures up to the present state of knowledge. The reviewed studies were retrieved from multiple databases, following the procedures of the Cochrane Collaboration. Of the 205 documents obtained, 49 were selected for further analysis and 31 were considered eligible for inclusion. Furthermore, eight studies were included through manual search. The objectives, sample (age, percentage of male, type of sample), country of origin of the studies, language, design, instruments, and results and main conclusions were extracted from each study. Overall, the results reinforce the idea that psychopathic traits are associated with abnormalities in the way the brain processes environmental emotional information, and that the fundamental cognitive properties related to attention maintain or worsen these abnormalities. In some cases, changes in attention explain, by themselves, the abnormalities in emotional processing. Future studies using neurophysiological paradigms would be a great asset to help differentiate, at a neurocognitive level, the personality structures characterized by pronounced antisocial behavior, in order to improve the understanding of their heterogeneous etiologies.
Measures for evaluating sex trafficking aftercare and support services: A systematic review and resource compilation
Increasingly, organizations are providing services to promote the resilience and reintegration of persons trafficked for sexual exploitation. Unfortunately, services for survivors of trafficking have out-paced the evaluation of such services. However, formative studies exist on the needs and service outcomes of survivors of trafficking. We undertook a systematic summary of such studies with the aim of compiling the measures and constructs used in this literature. Of the 53 studies reviewed, 22 studies named 34 published measures used to collect data regarding survivors' coping; physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health; substance use; social support; trafficking-related needs, strengths, and outcomes; and trauma and abuse experiences. Additionally, to gather information on constructs of interest, 18 of the 22 studies included supplemental questions that were not part of a specific measure. Results show sex trafficking research is strongly focused on the physical and mental health needs and service outcomes of survivors. Few studies incorporate holistic views of well-being. Moreover, measures used with this population often have not been tested with survivors of trafficking. We recommend testing measures with this population, conducting holistic assessment of the needs and outcomes of survivors of sex trafficking, and developing tailored measures for various subgroups within this diverse population.
Predicting domestic violence: A meta-analysis on the predictive validity of risk assessment tools
Risk assessment tools are increasingly being used to guide decisions about supervision and treatment of domestic violence perpetrators. However, earlier review studies showed that the predictive validity of most of these tools is limited, and is reflected in small average effect sizes. The present study aimed to meta-analytically examine the predictive validity of domestic violence risk assessment tools, and to identify tool characteristics that positively moderate the predictive validity. A literature search yielded 50 independent studies (N = 68,855) examining the predictive validity of 39 different tools, of which 205 effect sizes could be extracted. Overall, a significant discriminative accuracy was found (AUC = 0.647), indicating a moderate predictive accuracy. Tools specifically developed for assessing the risk of domestic violence performed as well as risk predictions based on victim ratings and tools designed for predicting general/violent criminal recidivism. Actuarial instruments (AUC = 0.657) outperformed Structured Clinical Judgment (SCJ) tools (AUC = 0.580) in predicting domestic violence. The onset of domestic violence (AUC = 0.744) could be better predicted than recurrence of domestic violence (AUC = 0.643), which is a promising finding for early detection and prevention of domestic violence. Suggestions for the improvement of risk assessment strategies are presented.
The conceptualization of gangs: Changing the focus
Discussions about the gang construct and appropriate definitions have been pervasive throughout gang research. This paper seeks to shed light on these discussions by adopting a theoretical perspective to examine the suitability of ‘gangs’ as a target of explanation and the appropriateness of current definitional approaches. First, we examine the validity and utility of the gang construct. It is concluded that the gang label has poor construct validity and limited explanatory utility, thereby making it unsuitable for theoretical purposes. Instead, we suggest that researchers need to focus on what gangs are at a foundational level, namely groups, and that the group should be the target of explanation. Second, we consider the limitations of gang definitions for theory construction and instead offer a method known as three-tier analysis to comprehensively conceptualize groups without discussions of necessary and sufficient definitional boundaries. Finally, we produce a framework based on these findings and demonstrate how it facilitates understanding of a specific gang exemplar. In doing so, we bypass several theoretical roadblocks obstructing gang research and advance a way to explain the group and (by extension) gangs, thus improving our understanding of groups and gangs with the purpose of ultimately informing practice and policy initiatives.
The role of media exposure on relational aggression: A meta-analysis
We conducted a meta-analysis of 33 studies that examined the effects of media exposure on relationally aggressive behaviors and cognitions (a total of 66 effect sizes, N = (20,990). Across all types of aggressive content, there was a small positive effect (r = 0.15) on relational aggression. However, a comparison of effects sizes demonstrate that exposure to relational aggression had the strongest effect (r = 0.21), whereas exposure to non-specific media content had the weakest effect (r = 0.08). Exposure to physical aggression fell in the middle of the two content types (r = 0.15). Potential explanations for these effects as well as moderators that could influence the results are considered, and the practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Associations between individual-level characteristics and exposure to physically violent behavior among young people experiencing homelessness: A meta-analysis
Risk factor reduction approaches may decrease exposure to violence among young people experiencing homelessness. This study presents a meta-analysis exploring associations between characteristics of young people experiencing homelessness (individual-level factors) and exposure to physically violent behavior, both as perpetrators and as victims. A series of meta-analyses using random effects models were conducted, examining 426 effect sizes, calculated from findings across 26 studies. Data were analyzed from 8842 homeless young people, aged 13–26 years from North America. Individual-level factors were significantly associated with both perpetration of physically violent behavior (OR 4.87, p < .0001) and physical violence victimization (OR 4.15, p < .0001). Homelessness experiences (e.g. length of time homeless) were associated with both perpetration of, and victimization from, physically violent behaviors. Perpetration of physically violent behavior was associated with physical violence victimization (OR 11.90, p < .0001). Prevention and intervention approaches seeking to address exposure to violence, both as perpetrators and as victims, can be informed by future research investigating risk factor reduction approaches.
Versatility and exploratory psychometric properties of the Impulsive/Premeditated Aggression Scale (IPAS): A review
Aggression has different conceptualizations and can be behaviorally expressed in diverse ways. Designed to evaluate impulsive and premeditated forms of aggression, the Impulsive/Premeditated Aggression Scale (IPAS; Stanford et al., 2003) is a 30 item self-report questionnaire. The aim of the present study was to explore IPAS versatility in different psychological settings by reviewing and examining the exploratory psychometric properties of the IPAS impulsive and premeditated subscales, across different samples and cultural backgrounds. Fifty-two articles including demographic or psychometric information (internal consistency, factor analysis, validity, reliability) were retrieved. It is suggested that the IPAS is reliable across different cultures, samples and scoring techniques. The two subscales (Impulsive and Premeditated) show acceptable internal consistency. Also, IPAS factors seem to be constant both in clinical and non-clinical samples. The IPAS appears to be a clinically useful instrument for differentiating between subtypes of aggressive behavior, to support risk assessment evaluations, pretrial decisions and better treatment and rehabilitation strategies in offenders and clinical relevant samples.
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