The Impact of Youth with Psychopathic Traits on Health

A Social-Ecological Perspective

Authored by: Dennis E. Reidy , Katherine W. Bogen , Scott O. Lilienfeld

Routledge International Handbook of Delinquency and Health

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367256920
eBook ISBN: 9780429289194
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429289194-11

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Abstract

Violence has long been recognized as a critical public health problem. Due to the well-established link between psychopathy and severe and chronic violence perpetration across the lifespan, psychopathy is undeniably a public health problem. This is true even of youth with psychopathic traits indicating the need to implement prevention efforts early in life. However, it may not be through violence alone that these youth confer risk of adverse health on others. Moreover, the health risks engendered by their behavior may not be restricted to those directly victimized. In the following chapter, we consider the possible ways in which the actions of youth with psychopathic traits may have consequences that diffuse across individual, relational, community, and societal levels the social ecology to detrimentally affect the health of their peers, communities, and society as a whole. We suspect that integrating criminal justice and public health perspectives, may facilitate the development of cross-cutting prevention strategies that simultaneously promote health and prevent delinquency by altering the behavioral expressions of psychopathy.

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