Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Timothy R. Stickle

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

Psychopathy, Gender, and Emotion Regulation: A Moderated Mediation Model

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Psychopathy variants exhibit varying levels of anxiety and affective range, suggesting variability in capacity for emotion regulation (ER). Further, gender differences are evident in both psychopathy and ER literature, but research involving all three constructs has yielded mixed results.

198 participants (67% Female; M age = 20.9) completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, the Inventory of Callous Unemotional (CU) Traits, and the Young Adult Antisocial Behavior Scale.

To examine gender differences in ER and CU traits as related to antisocial behavior (AB), we tested two path models examining (1) whether ER mediates the association between CU traits and AB, with gender moderating the path between CU traits and ER, and (2) whether ER mediates the association between CU traits and AB, with gender moderating the path between ER and AB.

In Model 1 (R2 = .16, p = .00), CU traits predicted ER, b = .30, p = .00, which predicted increased AB, b = .23, p = .00. There was a significant direct effect of CU traits on AB, b = .05, p = .02. The effect of CU traits on AB was mediated by ER; poorer ER was associated with more AB. The CU to ER path was not moderated by gender.

In Model 2 (R2 = .25, p = .00), higher levels of CU traits predicted poorer ER, b = .16, p = .00, which predicted more AB, b = .87, p = .00. The association between CU traits and AB was significantly mediated by ER (Males: b = .08, [.04, .13]; Females: b = .02, [.00, .04]). Gender significantly moderated the path between ER and AB; this effect was significantly larger for males. The direct effect of CU on AB was not significant.

These results implicate ER in the emergence of AB among those with elevated CU traits. Males with CU traits exhibited a stronger mediation through ER on AB and may benefit particularly from ER focused prevention and intervention.

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Psychopathy, Gender, and Emotion Regulation: A Moderated Mediation Model

Psychopathy variants exhibit varying levels of anxiety and affective range, suggesting variability in capacity for emotion regulation (ER). Further, gender differences are evident in both psychopathy and ER literature, but research involving all three constructs has yielded mixed results.

198 participants (67% Female; M age = 20.9) completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, the Inventory of Callous Unemotional (CU) Traits, and the Young Adult Antisocial Behavior Scale.

To examine gender differences in ER and CU traits as related to antisocial behavior (AB), we tested two path models examining (1) whether ER mediates the association between CU traits and AB, with gender moderating the path between CU traits and ER, and (2) whether ER mediates the association between CU traits and AB, with gender moderating the path between ER and AB.

In Model 1 (R2 = .16, p = .00), CU traits predicted ER, b = .30, p = .00, which predicted increased AB, b = .23, p = .00. There was a significant direct effect of CU traits on AB, b = .05, p = .02. The effect of CU traits on AB was mediated by ER; poorer ER was associated with more AB. The CU to ER path was not moderated by gender.

In Model 2 (R2 = .25, p = .00), higher levels of CU traits predicted poorer ER, b = .16, p = .00, which predicted more AB, b = .87, p = .00. The association between CU traits and AB was significantly mediated by ER (Males: b = .08, [.04, .13]; Females: b = .02, [.00, .04]). Gender significantly moderated the path between ER and AB; this effect was significantly larger for males. The direct effect of CU on AB was not significant.

These results implicate ER in the emergence of AB among those with elevated CU traits. Males with CU traits exhibited a stronger mediation through ER on AB and may benefit particularly from ER focused prevention and intervention.