Personality and Aggressive Tendencies in Mental Health

konfliktForensic psychology, at its core, is interested in elucidating how mental health issues intersect with the criminal justice system. Perhaps one of the most important, and difficult, a question within forensic psychology involves understanding why people engage in violent behaviors.

Aggression is a multifaceted phenomenon that appears to be related to individual characteristics of the perpetrator and life circumstances. Expanding on the topic of schizotypy in relation to aggression and impulsivity, this study continues to further explore the role of these factors in aggression, while also accounting for specific individual differences in identity statuses and personality traits.

These intrinsic qualities may shed light on why individuals engage in violent and aggressive behaviors beyond abnormal mental health processes. We anticipate to assess the relationship among these variables and to create multifaceted models that better predict aggression and violent act. A cross sectional correlational study design is being conducted to analyze the interactions of aggression, impulsivity, identity statuses, personality, and mental health with upwards of 558 participants.

Based on the literature, we developed 3 a priori hypotheses, 1) diffused identity status will be related to higher impulsivity levels and higher levels of schizotypy, 2) moratorium identity status will be related to higher impulsivity levels, and 3) neuroticism will be related to higher levels of impulsivity levels and in turn agreeableness will be related to lower levels of impulsivity. Multiple regressions will be used to test the interactions between aggression, impulsivity, identity statuses, personality, and mental health. Further results and implications will be discussed.

Author: Jamie Sullivan

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