Effects of childhood trauma in psychopathy and response inhibition

Bedwell, Stacey A. and Hickman, Charlotte (2022) Effects of childhood trauma in psychopathy and response inhibition. Development and Psychopathology. pp. 1-6. ISSN 0954-5794

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Childhood trauma is linked to impairments in executive function and working memory, thought to underly psychological disorders including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Research demonstrates that childhood trauma can partially mediate posttraumatic stress disorder in those with executive function deficits. Despite a link with executive function deficit, psychopathy as a consequence of trauma is yet to be studied in this context. The present study investigates the possibility of a relationship between childhood trauma, psychopathic traits, and response inhibition. Eighty participants were tasked to completed the Childhood Traumatic Events Scale (Pennebaker & Susman, 2013), Levenson’s Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (Levenson et al., 1995), and Flanker task of response inhibition (Eriksen & Eriksen, 1974). Scores of trauma exposure, psychopathic traits, and reaction times in the Flanker task were measured. Regression analysis revealed no significance for trauma exposure in predicting psychopathic traits (p = .201) and response inhibition (p = .183), indicating that childhood trauma does not strongly predict susceptibility to psychopathic traits or response inhibition deficits. These findings form an important basis on which to build a further understanding of the consequences of childhood trauma exposure, specifically in terms of understanding how specific cognitive functions may be influenced and providing a clearer understanding of how psychopathic traits develop.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579421001863
1 January 2022Accepted
25 January 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: childhood trauma, executive function, psychopathic traits, psychopathy, response inhibition
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Stacey Bedwell
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 14:41
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 14:41
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12954

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