Psychopathic and Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits As Predictors of Reactive and Instrumental Aggression

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Aggression has traditionally been subdivided into two correlated, but distinct, subtypes: reactive and instrumental. Reactive aggression (RA) is considered impulsive, emotionally driven behavior, whereas instrumental aggression (IA) is planned and incentive-motivated. This thesis examines the relationships between RA, IA, psychopathy, and antisocial personality disorder (APD) symptoms in male and female offenders recruited from a jail in north Texas. Contrary to predictions, psychopathic traits did not account for more variance in aggression than did APD symptoms. Impulsivity demonstrated slight incremental validity over psychopathy for RA, and to a lesser degree, IA. the continued utility of the reactive-instrumental distinction and implications for ... continued below

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Steadham, Jennifer A. May 2012.

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  • Steadham, Jennifer A.

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Aggression has traditionally been subdivided into two correlated, but distinct, subtypes: reactive and instrumental. Reactive aggression (RA) is considered impulsive, emotionally driven behavior, whereas instrumental aggression (IA) is planned and incentive-motivated. This thesis examines the relationships between RA, IA, psychopathy, and antisocial personality disorder (APD) symptoms in male and female offenders recruited from a jail in north Texas. Contrary to predictions, psychopathic traits did not account for more variance in aggression than did APD symptoms. Impulsivity demonstrated slight incremental validity over psychopathy for RA, and to a lesser degree, IA. the continued utility of the reactive-instrumental distinction and implications for professional practice in relation to the current study are examined. Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

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  • May 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 6, 2012, 3:03 p.m.

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  • March 20, 2017, 2:52 p.m.

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Steadham, Jennifer A. Psychopathic and Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits As Predictors of Reactive and Instrumental Aggression, thesis, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115167/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .