Date of Award

8-1-2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Cashel, Mary Louise

Abstract

The primary objective of the current study involved examining the influence of psychopathy on aggression and antisocial behavior. Reports of parental attachment, peer relationships, and exposure to community violence were examined as potential moderators of these relationships. Parental attachment styles and peer delinquency were also assessed with respect to the outcomes. A total of 172 students at a Midwestern college participated. Parental attachment, peer attachment, and exposure to community violence were not significant moderators between psychopathy and the outcome variables. Peer delinquency and exposure to community violence were both predictors of aggression; however, only peer delinquency was a predictor of antisocial behavior. Moreover, there was a significant group difference between those with secure attachment and the other attachment styles with respect to scores for aggression. These findings have implications for prevention and intervention strategies for the community. However, potential problems with data collection and experimental design are discussed. Additional research needs to be performed to determine directional and causal mechanisms of the relationships found in this study.

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