Saturday, June 09, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, May 9, 2007


NCJ 218294
Alexander T. Vazsonyi; Lara M. Belliston
Family--Low Self-Control--Deviance: A Cross-Cultural and Cross-National Test of Self-Control Theory
Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal
Volume:34 Issue:4 Dated:April 2007 Pages:505 to 530

This article reports the results of a cross-cultural and cross-national test of self-control theory, which focused on the theoretically relevant variables of family processes, low self-control, and youthful deviance. Results from youth representing seven different cultural and national groups from Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States indicated consistent support for significantly similar patterns of relationships among family processes, low self-control, and deviance measures. The findings further revealed that family processes had both direct and indirect impacts on youth deviance through low self-control. Taken together, family processes and low self-control explained between 25 percent and 36 percent of the variation in deviance across the youth samples when age, sex, family structure, and socioeconomic status were controlled. These findings are noteworthy because they establish evidence of a cross-culturally and cross-nationally invariant pattern of association among key measures of family processes, low self-control, and deviance. Data were drawn from the International Study of Adolescent Development and Problem Behaviors, which collected anonymous self-report data from 8,997 middle and late adolescents residing in medium-sized cities in Hungary (N=826), Japan (N=344), the Netherlands (N=1,244), Switzerland (N=3,819), and the United States (N=2,764). Participants were selected via convenience sampling at their schools and completed a self-report questionnaire assessing demographic information, family structure, socioeconomic characteristics, family processes, self-control, and engagement in deviance. Data were analyzed using partial correlations and a series of structural equation models. Future research should focus on replicating this study using samples of younger adolescents and perhaps children. Tables, figure, appendixes, references

NCJ 218295
Angela S. Book; Vernon L. Quinsey; Dale Langford
Psychopathy and the Perception of Affect and Vulnerability
Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal
Volume:34 Issue:4 Dated:April 2007 Pages:531 to 544

This study investigated the relationship between psychopathic traits and the perception of nonverbal communication, particularly facial expressions and body language. Results indicated that the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) was significantly and positively correlated with inmates’ accuracy in their emotional intensity ratings. Moreover, psychopathic traits were found to be significantly related to the accuracy of assertiveness ratings on videotaped interactions. The findings thus suggest that psychopathic traits are not associated with any deficits regarding the perception of nonverbal communications. The findings further suggest that psychopathic traits may contribute to accuracy in judging vulnerability in other people, particularly within an interpersonal context. The results indicate the importance of investigating “callous empathy” from a variety of perspectives. Participants were 59 prison inmates and a comparison group of 60 community members who were recruited through newspaper advertisements. Participants completed the PCL-R and Levenson’s Self Report Psychopathy Scale to measure psychopathic traits. Participants were asked to categorize the emotion of posed facial photographs and rate intensity of emotion. Participants also viewed videotaped interactions of a confederate and a target and were asked to rate their assertiveness using the Rathus Assertiveness Scale. Data were analyzed using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test, which determines whether variables under analysis meet the assumption of normality. Future research should attempt to replicate these findings with samples that score higher on psychopathy. Tables, references

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