Self-control and psychopathy are prominent general theories of antisociality that, although present a very similar type of individual, have not often been studied in tandem, and few studies have conducted a head-to-head test of their association with serious delinquency and youth violence. Using a near census of institutionalized delinquents from Missouri, the current study found that both low self-control and psychopathy were significantly associated with various forms of delinquency and severe/chronic delinquency as measured by 90th percentile on the distribution. However, low self-control was associated with more forms of delinquency, and victimization and youth with the lowest levels of self-control were at greatest risk for pathological delinquency relative to those with the most psychopathic personality. Both self-control and psychopathy are essential for understanding the most severe variants of delinquency, and more head-to-head tests are encouraged to assess the strength of criminological theories.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Developmental and Educational Psychology