ERIC Number: EJ950493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Psychopathy
Blair, R. J. R.; Peschardt, K. S.; Budhani, S.; Mitchell, D. G. V.; Pine, D. S.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v47 n3-4 p262-276 Mar-Apr 2006
The current review focuses on the construct of psychopathy, conceptualized as a clinical entity that is fundamentally distinct from a heterogeneous collection of syndromes encompassed by the term "conduct disorder". We will provide an account of the development of psychopathy at multiple levels: ultimate causal (the genetic or social primary cause), molecular, neural, cognitive and behavioral. The following main claims will be made: (1) that there is a stronger genetic as opposed to social ultimate cause to this disorder. The types of social causes proposed (e.g., childhood sexual/physical abuse) should elevate emotional responsiveness, not lead to the specific form of reduced responsiveness seen in psychopathy; (2) The genetic influence leads to the emotional dysfunction that is the core of psychopathy; (3) The genetic influence at the molecular level remains unknown. However, it appears to impact the functional integrity of the amygdala and orbital/ventrolateral frontal cortex (and possibly additional systems); (4) Disruption within these two neural systems leads to impairment in the ability to form stimulus-reinforcement associations and to alter stimulus-response associations as a function of contingency change. These impairments disrupt the impact of standard socialization techniques and increase the risk for frustration-induced reactive aggression respectively.
Descriptors: Socialization, At Risk Persons, Aggression, Genetics, Psychopathology, Mental Disorders, Environmental Influences, Social Influences, Child Abuse, Molecular Structure, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Neurological Impairments, Stimuli, Responses
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A