• The moderating role of psychopathic traits in the relationship between period of confinement and criminal social identity in a sample of juvenile prisoners

      Boduszek, Daniel; Dhingra, Katie; Debowska, Agata; University of Huddersfield; SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Katowice, Poland; Leeds Beckett University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2016-03)
      The main aim of the current study was to examine how primary psychopathy may interact with period of confinement to predict Criminal Social Identity (CSI) scores, while controlling for covariates. Methods: The Measure of Criminal Social Identity, Levenson Self-report Psychopathy Scale, and the Measure of Criminal Attitudes and Associates were administered to 126 male juvenile offenders incarcerated in prisons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Results: Results indicated no significant direct relationship between period of confinement and CSI scores. However, as expected, a significant moderating effect of primary psychopathy on the association between period of confinement and CSI scores was observed while controlling for covariates. Specifically, the significant effect of period of confinement on CSI was observed only for those participants who scored higher (1 SD above the mean) on primary psychopathy (affective and interpersonal features). Conclusion: For incarcerated juveniles with greater primary psychopathic traits, the formation and/or intensification of CSI may be an adaptive response to incarceration.
    • Psychopathy, gang membership, and moral disengagement among juvenile offenders

      Dhingra, Katie; Debowska, Agata; Sharratt, Kathryn; Hyland, Philip; Kola-Palmer, Susanna; Manchester Metropolitan University ; University of Chester ; University of Huddersfield ; National College of Ireland ; University of Huddersfield (Emerald, 2014-11-10)
      Purpose: The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of psychopathy factors and gang membership on moral disengagement while controlling for age, ethnicity, having run away from home, family member and/or friend arrests, substance misuse, parental physical fights, violence exposure (victimization and witnessing), and maternal warmth and hostility. Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on data collected from serious juvenile offenders (N = 769) as part of the Pathways to Desistance Study. Findings: Six independent variables made a unique statistically significant contribution to the model: gang membership, age, gender, violence exposure, and psychopathy Factors 1 and 2. Psychopathy Factor 1 was the strongest predictor of moral disengagement. Originality/value: Results indicate that youth with heightened psychopathic traits make greater use of strategies to rationalize and justify their harmful behaviour against others. Implications in relation to theory and previous studies are discussed.