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J Adolesc. 2014 Jul;37(5):669-80. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.03.004. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Implicit attitudes and self-concepts towards transgression and aggression: differences between male community and offender adolescents, and associations with psychopathic traits.

Author information

  • 1Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address: Maya.Suter@chuv.ch.
  • 2School of Nursing, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland, Fribourg, Switzerland.
  • 3Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Center, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • 4LabDCI, Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Research suggests that implicit attitudes play a key role in the occurrence of antisocial behaviours. This study assessed implicit attitudes and self-concepts related to aggression and transgression in community and offender adolescents, using a new set of Implicit Association Tests (IATs), and examined their association with of psychopathic traits. Thirty-six offenders and 66 community adolescents performed 4 IATs assessing 1) implicit attitudes about a) aggression and b) transgression as good, and 2) implicit self-concepts about a) aggression and b) transgression as self-descriptive. They filled in self-report questionnaires: the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory, the Child Behaviour Checklist, and explicit measures of their attitudes and self-concepts towards transgression and aggression. Results showed few differences between community and offender adolescents on implicit attitudes and self-concepts, and unexpected negative associations between some implicit attitudes and psychopathic traits, while the association was positive for the corresponding explicit attitudes. Possible explanations of these findings are discussed.

Copyright © 2014 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Aggression; IAT; Implicit attitudes; Implicit self-concepts; Psychopathic traits; Rule-breaking

PMID:
24679466
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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