The intergenerational transmission of psychopathy

Authored by: Katherine M. Auty

Routledge International Handbook of Psychopathy and Crime

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085169
eBook ISBN: 9781315111476
Adobe ISBN:


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Crime runs in families and there is significant evidence of intergenerational continuity in criminal offending. The same holds true for psychopathic features, where an individual is at elevated risk for psychopathy when his or her parents also exhibited psychopathic traits. The current chapter reviews the evidence for the intergenerational continuity in psychopathy and identifies the environmental and biological mechanisms by which this transmission occurs. Directions for future research on how best to intervene in the family role in psychopathy are offered.

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