UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Attachment-related mentalization moderates the relationship between psychopathic traits and proactive aggression in adolescence

Taubner, S; White, LO; Zimmermann, J; Fonagy, P; Nolte, T; (2013) Attachment-related mentalization moderates the relationship between psychopathic traits and proactive aggression in adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology , 41 (6) 929 - 938. 10.1007/s10802-013-9736-x. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
Fonagy_Template_Applied_Mentalization_moderates_final_EDITED_pre_accept.pdf

Download (284kB)

Abstract

The lack of affective responsiveness to others' mental states - one of the hallmarks of psychopathy - is thought to give rise to increased interpersonal aggression. Recent models of psychopathy highlight deficits in attachment security that may, in turn, impede the development of relating to others in terms of mental states (mentalization). Here, we aimed to assess whether mentalization linked to attachment relationships may serve as a moderator for the relationship between interpersonal aggression and psychopathic traits in an adolescent community sample. Data from 104 males and females with a mean age of 16.4 years were collected on mentalization capacities using the Reflective Functioning Scale on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). Psychopathic traits and aggressive behavior were measured via self-report. Deficits in mentalization were significantly associated with both psychopathic traits and proactive aggression. As predicted, mentalization played a moderating role, such that individuals with increased psychopathic tendencies did not display increased proactive aggression when they had higher mentalizing capacities. Effects of mentalization on reactive aggression were fully accounted for by its shared variance with proactive aggression. Psychopathic traits alone only partially explain aggression in adolescence. Mentalization may serve as a protective factor to prevent the emergence of proactive aggression in spite of psychopathic traits and may provide a crucial target for intervention.

Type: Article
Title: Attachment-related mentalization moderates the relationship between psychopathic traits and proactive aggression in adolescence
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10802-013-9736-x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9736-x
Language: English
Additional information: This is the authors' accepted version of this published article. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9736-x
Keywords: Adolescent, Aggression, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Cross-Sectional Studies, Emigrants and Immigrants, Empathy, Female, Germany, Humans, Male, Object Attachment, Regression Analysis, Theory of Mind, Young Adult
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1393942
Downloads since deposit
826Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item