Personality traits are linked to crime among men and women: evidence from a birth cohort.

Published

Journal Article

Is there a relationship between personality and criminal behavior? We addressed this question in a representative birth cohort of 862 male and female 18-year-olds. Personality was assessed with the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). The MPQ measures 10 relatively independent personality traits and was not designed to identify offenders. Delinquency was assessed via 3 data sources: self-reports, informant reports, and official records. Variable-centered analyses revealed that MPQ scales indexing negative emotionality and behavioral constraint were consistent predictors of delinquency across the 3 data sources. Person-centered analyses revealed that youths abstaining from delinquency were uniquely characterized by low interpersonal potency. Youths involved in extensive delinquency were uniquely characterized by feelings of alienation, lack of social closeness, and risk taking. Advances in understanding criminal behavior can be made through research that places the personality-delinquency link in a developmental context.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Krueger, RF; Schmutte, PS; Caspi, A; Moffitt, TE; Campbell, K; Silva, PA

Published Date

  • May 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 103 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 328 - 338

PubMed ID

  • 8040502

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8040502

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1846

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-843X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037//0021-843x.103.2.328

Language

  • eng