Is it Good to Be Bad? The Potential Buffering Role of Callous-Unemotional Traits on the Relationship Between Trauma and Juvenile Offending
Date of Award
Clinical and Counseling Psychology
James R. Stefurak, Ph.D.
Juvenile offending is prevalent, costly, and often difficult to intervene in. Although there are a multitude of factors previously studied that contribute to offending, researchers are still unable to pinpoint all possible variables contributing to juvenile offending. More so, of explored and accepted factors leading to juvenile offending, predictive ability of any specific factor leading to offending is still weak. Thus, study of specific predisposing factors leading to juvenile offending, as well as mediational or moderational variables, is needed. This study explores two previously studied variables in the pathway to juvenile offending: trauma and callous-unemotional traits. Novel study of the effects of trauma exposure, trauma symptoms, and callous-unemotional traits on offending are proposed and explored. Analysis was conducted on archival data of 174 youth from a juvenile court. Trauma exposure and trauma symptoms were assessed with UCLA PTSD reaction index for DSM-5; Callous-unemotional traits were assessed with the Inventory for Callous-Unemotional Traits, and official offending records were collected from court records. Negative binomial regression indicated trauma exposure and trauma symptoms and subscales of callous unemotional traits and trauma symptom subscales were positively correlated. Proposed mediational effects of trauma symptoms on the relationship between trauma exposure and x i offending, moderational effects of callous unemotional traits on the relationship between trauma exposure and trauma symptoms, and a moderated mediation of callous unemotional traits on the relationship between trauma exposure, trauma symptoms, and offending were not significant. The findings of this study indicate further exploration of the possible interplay of trauma exposure, trauma symptoms, and callous-unemotional traits within juvenile offenders. More so, the overlapping symptom profiles of youth with high levels of trauma symptoms and callous-unemotional traits call for a need of trauma-informed systems, especially in juvenile justice.
McGill, Kathryn Anne, "Is it Good to Be Bad? The Potential Buffering Role of Callous-Unemotional Traits on the Relationship Between Trauma and Juvenile Offending" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 97.
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