Paralimbic Gray Matter Reductions in Incarcerated Adolescent Females with Psychopathic Traits
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Psychopathy-related paralimbic and limbic structural brain abnormalities have been implicated in incarcerated adult and adolescent male samples. However, there have been few neuroimaging studies of psychopathic traits in females in general and no studies from incarcerated female youth in particular. Here we present the first study to examine the relationship between brain gray matter volumes and psychopathic traits (assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Youth Version [PCL-YV]) in a sample of maximum-security incarcerated female adolescents (N = 39; mean age = 17.6 years). Consistent with male samples, regional gray matter volumes were negatively related to psychopathic traits in female youth offenders in limbic and paralimbic areas, including orbitofrontal cortex, parahippocampal cortex, temporal poles, and left hippocampus. These results provide evidence that psychopathic traits manifest similar neural abnormalities across sex and age.
KeywordsVoxel-based morphometry (VBM) Psychopathic traits Adolescent females Paralimbic structures Psychopathy Checklist-Youth Version (PCL-YV) Incarcerated offenders
This research was supported by NIMH R01 MH071896 (PI: KAK). EE was supported by NIMH NRSA F32 MH086247. We are grateful to the staff and clients (and parents) at the Youth Diagnostic and Detention Facility and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department for their support and assistance in making this research possible.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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