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Implicit attitudes and self-concepts towards transgression and aggression: Differences between male community and offender adolescents, and associations with psychopathic traits.
Journal of Adolescence
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
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.
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