Psychopathy and Functions of Aggression in Emerging Adulthood: Moderation by Anger Rumination and Gender
- 668 Downloads
Psychopathy has been previously identified as a risk factor for aggression (Porter and Woodworth 2006). However, few studies have considered specific relationships with functional subtypes of aggression, or how gender and anger rumination affect these relationships in emerging adulthood. We hypothesized that primary psychopathy would be uniquely related to proactive aggression (PA) and secondary psychopathy to reactive aggression (RA), and that these relationships would be amplified by anger rumination, and potentially influenced further by gender. Undergraduate students (N = 610; 73.3 % female) ages 18–20 completed self-report measures of anger rumination, psychopathy, and aggression, and hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression. As predicted, anger rumination enhanced the association between secondary psychopathy and RA. It also amplified the relationship between primary psychopathy and PA, but only at very high levels of anger rumination. Gender moderated interactions between primary and secondary psychopathy on aggression. For men, primary psychopathy attenuated the secondary psychopathy – RA relationship, but not for women. These findings fill an important gap in the literature by demonstrating how tendencies to ruminate on anger and psychopathic traits interact to influence functional subtypes of aggression in young men versus women.
KeywordsPsychopathy Aggression Anger rumination Gender Moderation
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was not supported by any extramural funds or grants to the authors.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.
Conflict of Interest
The authors, Roberto Guerra and Bradley White, declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Aiken, L. S., West, S. G., & Reno, R. R. (1991). Multiple regression: testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Brinkley, C. A., Schmitt, W. A., Smith, S. S., & Newman, J. P. (2001). Construct validation of a self-report psychopathy scale: does Levenson’s self-report psychopathy scale measure the same constructs as Hare's psychopathy checklist-revised? Personality and Individual Differences, 31(7), 1021–1038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cleckley, H. (1941/1988). The mask of sanity (6th ed.). Augusta, GA: Emily S. Cleckley.Google Scholar
- Frick, P. J., Bodin, S. D., & Barry, C. T. (2001). Psychopathic traits and conduct problems in community and clinic-referred samples of children. Further development of the Psychopathy Screening Device, 12(4), 382–393.Google Scholar
- Hare, R. D. (2003). The psychopathy checklist-revised. Toronto: ON.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: a regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Hicks, B. M., Carlson, M. D., Blonigen, D. M., Patrick, C. J., Iacono, W. G., & MGue, M. (2012). Psychopathic personality traits and environmental contexts: differential correlates, gender differences, and genetic mediation. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3, 209–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Johnson, P. O., & Neyman, J. (1936). Tests of certain linear hypotheses and their application to some educational problems. Statistical Research Memoirs, 1, 57–93.Google Scholar
- Lilienfeld, S. O., & Widows, M. R. (2005). Psychopathic personality inventory – revised: Professional manual. Florida: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc..Google Scholar
- Patel, S., Day, T. N., Jones, N., & Mazefsky, C. A. (2016). Association between anger rumination and autism symptom severity, depression symptoms, aggression, and general dysregulation in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. Advance online publication. doi. doi: 10.1177/1362361316633566.Google Scholar
- Peled, M. (2006). Ruminations on rumination: anger and sadness rumination in a normative and clinical sample, Unpublished doctoral dissertation. British Columbia: Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
- Porter, S., & Woodworth, M. (2006). Psychopathy and aggression. Handbook of Psychopathy, 481–494.Google Scholar
- Raine, A., Dodge, K., Loeber, R., Gatzke-Kopp, L., Lynam, D., Reynolds, C., & Liu, J. (2006). The reactive–proactive aggression questionnaire: differential correlates of reactive and proactive aggression in adolescent boys. Aggressive Behavior, 32(2), 159–171.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Salekin, R. T., Chen, D. R., Sellbom, M., Lester, W. S., & MacDougall, E. (2014). Examining the factor structure and convergent and discriminant validity of the Levenson self-report psychopathy scale: is the two-factor model the best fitting model? Journal of Personality Disorders, 5(3), 289–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2013). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Tremblay, R. E. (2014). Early development of physical aggression and early risk factors for chronic physical aggression in humans, In Neuroscience of Aggression (pp. 315–327). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
- Verona, E., & Vitale, J. (2006). Psychopathy in women: assessment, manifestations, and etiology. In C. J. Patrick (Ed.), Handbook of psychopathy (pp. 415–436). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar