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#264 - 07/13/05 06:54 PM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline

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May 26, 2005
Twins Study Finds Genetic Cause For Psychopathy

Dr. Essi Viding of the London Kings College Institute of Psychiatry and colleagues have found the tendency toward psychopathic behavior has a strong genetic component.

New research on the origins of antisocial behaviour, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests that early-onset antisocial behaviour in children with psychopathic tendencies is largely inherited.

Dr Viding's research looked into the factors that contribute to antisocial behaviour in children with and without psychopathic tendencies. By studying sets of 7-year-old twins, Dr. Viding and her colleagues were able to pinpoint to what extent antisocial behaviour in these two groups was caused by genetic and/or environmental risk factors.

A sample of 3687 twin pairs formed the starting point for this research. Teacher ratings for antisocial behaviour and psychopathic tendencies (i.e. lack of empathy and remorse) were used to classify the twins. Those who were in the top 10% of the sample for antisocial behaviour were separated into two groups - those with and without psychopathic tendencies.

Following analysis, the results showed that, in children with psychopathic tendencies, antisocial behaviour was strongly inherited. In contrast, the antisocial behaviour of children who did not have psychopathic tendencies was mainly influenced by environmental factors. These findings are in line with previous research showing that children with psychopathic tendencies are at risk to continue their antisocial behaviour and are often resistant to traditional forms of intervention.

For those who recognize the name note that Robert Plomin is one of the co-authors.

Evidence for substantial genetic risk for psychopathy in 7-year-olds (Essi Viding, R. James R. Blair, Terrie E. Moffitt, Robert Plomin) is published in the June 2005 issue of The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The bad kids who feel no remorse are genetically bad.

Twins Study Finds Genetic Cause For Psychopathy continues...

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#265 - 08/24/05 10:38 AM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Dianne E.]
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Brain Differences In Adolescents, Psychopaths, Lend To Their Impulsive, Risk-taking Behavior
Date: 2004-11-02

The next time you find yourself wondering, “Teenagers! Why do they do that?”, look to their adolescent brains. New research suggests that the risk-taking behaviors seen in adolescents may be attributed to their still developing brains. Another study explores the brain basis for the risk-taking behaviors of psychopaths.

New research—in both humans and animals—shows differences in the structure and functioning of adolescent brains compared with preadolescents or adults that correspond to such teenage behaviors as immature decision making, increased risk taking, and impulsive behaviors. As a result of this research, scientists now urge that puberty be studied as a separate stage of development—one distinctly different from the life stages of children or adults.

“Adolescents' brains seem to bias their decision-making capabilities in the direction of favoring short-term benefits, even when these benefits are weighed against potential long-term detriments,” says Jonathan Cohen, MD, PhD, of the department of psychology at Princeton University.

In one study, Gregory Berns, MD, PhD, and his colleagues at Emory University School of Medicine found that hyperactivity in the reward circuits of adolescent brains compared with adult brains may underlie adolescents' immature decision making.

Brain Differences In Adolescents, Psycho...or...continues]

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#266 - 01/04/06 11:28 AM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Dianne E.]
Dianne E. Offline

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Symptoms of Fledgling Psychopathy in Children

Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate

Indiscriminate affection, often to strangers; but not affectionate on parent’s terms

Problems making eye contact, except when angry or lying

A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as the child gets older

Hypervigilant

Hyperactive, yet lazy in performing tasks

Argumentative, often over silly or insignificant things

Frequent tantrums or rage, often over trivial issues

Demanding or clingy, often at inappropriate times

Trouble understanding cause and effect

Poor impulse control

Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith

Little or no empathy; often have not developed a conscience

Cruelty to animals

Lying for no apparent reason False allegations of abuse

Destructive to property or self

Stealing

Constant chatter; nonsense questions

Abnormal speech patterns; uninterested in learning communication skills

Developmental / Learning delays

Fascination with fire, blood and gore, weapons, evil; will usually make the bad choice

Problems with food; either hoarding it or refusing to eat

Concerned with details, but ignoring the main issues

Few or no long term friends; tend to be loners

Attitude of entitlement and self-importance

Sneaks things without permission even if he could have had them by asking

Triangulation of adults; pitting one against the other

A darkness behind the eyes when raging


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#267 - 10/24/06 11:21 AM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Dianne E.]
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#11328 - 07/02/11 04:34 PM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Dianne E.]
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The Childhood Psychopath: Bad Seed or Bad Parents
Bad Seed

The Fledgling Psychopath
Crime Library

In 1979, sixteen-year-old Brenda Spencer received a rifle for her birthday. She used it to shoot kids at an elementary school near her San Diego home, wounding nine and killing two. A reporter asked her later why she had done it. Her answer: "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day."

In 1993, two bodies were found on a country road in Ellis County, Texas. One was male, one female. The boy, 14, had been shot, but the 13-year-old girl had been stripped, raped, and dismembered. Her head and hands were missing. The killer turned out to be Jason Massey, who had decided he was going to become the worst serial killer that Texas had ever seen. He tortured animals, stalked another young woman, and revered killers like Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and Henry Lee Lucas. He was nine years old when he killed his first cat. He added dozens more over the years, along with dogs and even six cows. He had a long list of potential victims and his diaries were filled with fantasies of rape, torture, and cannibalism of female victims. He was a loner who believed he served a "master" who gave him knowledge and power. He was obsessed with bringing girls under his control and having their dead bodies in his possession.

Nine-year-old Jeffrey Bailey, Jr. pushed a three-year-old friend into the deep part of a motel pool in Florida in 1986. He wanted to see someone drown. As the boy sank to the bottom, Jeffrey pulled up a chair to watch. When it was finished, he went home. When he was questioned, he was more engaged in being the center of attention than in any kind of remorse for what he had done. About the murder he was nonchalant.

On April 13, 2000, three first-graders in north-western Indiana were apprehended in the act of plotting to kill a classmate. They had formed a "hate" club and were trying to recruit other girls to join them in the planned slaughter. They were not yet sure whether they would shoot their target victim, stab her with a butcher knife or hang her. Their plan was interrupted, but another victim in similar circumstances was not so lucky.

Jessica Holtmeyer, 16, hanged a learning-disabled girl in Pennsylvania and then bashed in her face with a rock. Afterward, a witness reported Holtmeyer to say that she wanted to cut the girl up and keep one of her fingers as a souvenir.

These children have a character disturbance. They devalue others and lack a sense of morality. Such incidents as those described above have made it increasingly clear that psychopathy is not exclusively an adult manifestation. In fact, some child development experts believe that childhood psychopathy is increasing at an alarming rate. In the research, these children are regarded as "fledgling psychopaths" who will become increasingly more dangerous as they get older. They might not become killers but they will learn how to manipulate, deceive and exploit others for their own gain. It is generally believed that they have failed to develop affectional bonds that allow them to empathize with another's pain. What they have developed are traits of arrogance, dishonesty, narcissism, shamelessness, and callousness.

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#11329 - 07/02/11 04:38 PM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Anonymous]
Dianne E. Offline

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The Childhood Psychopath: Bad Seed or Bad Parents?
Born or Made?
Theories of Psychopathy

Crime Library

According to Canadian theorist Dr. David Lykken, psychopaths are set apart. They differ in temperament from other children and are at greater risk for delinquency. He has looked at the statistics on juvenile crime and concludes that only a few children with antisocial tendencies were born with such a predisposition. They are fearless and probably have a weak behavioral inhibition system. However, Lykken contends that most antisocial behaviors in children are caused by poor parenting—absent fathers and inadequate mothers who fail to properly socialize their child. Perhaps the child frustrates them or perhaps their parenting skills are subnormal. Either way, the child acts out. Lykken calls these children Psychopaths and he believes that we can decrease their numbers with better social skills. He does acknowledge the twin studies that support the view that criminality has a substantial heritability factor, but claims that traits like fearlessness, aggressiveness, and sensation seeking, all of which contribute to antisocial behavior, can be properly channeled toward better things. It is up to parents to do this, and where parenting fails, the child with those traits may express them through violence. In other words, in his opinion, even the child most prone to psychopathy via inherited traits can be guided through good parenting toward using those traits in prosocial ways.

Some brain studies suggest that psychopaths have abnormal brain activities. They make certain connections more slowly than other children, show less fear of punishment, and seem to need to do things that excite their nervous system, such as thrill-seeking behaviors.

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#11330 - 07/02/11 04:40 PM Re: Articles - Resources [Re: Anonymous]
Dianne E. Offline

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SAVAGE SPAWN: REFLECTIONS ON VIOLENT CHILDREN
Dr. Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantyne Publishing)

Amid all the breast-beating and finger-pointing that have followed recent mass shootings by American schoolboys, best-selling novelist and child clinical psychologist Jonathan Kellerman sounds a note of reason.

In this powerful tract about the origins of violent crime in children, Kellerman shines a light on the beginnings of psychopathy -- kids who kill without remorse -- and states that psychopathic tendencies begin very early in life, as young as three, and that they endure.

It's not our "morally bankrupt society," or violent movies that are to blame, Kellerman claims; it's the kids themselves who need to be examined, very carefully and very early.

Kellerman worked with disturbed children for two decades at a major urban hospital, and in private practice for many years. Along the way, he has written three books on psychology, two books for children, and 14 best-selling novels, many based on his practice.

In that time, he encountered only a few very disturbing young boys who all displayed emotional flatness, lack of conscience, bravado, inflated self-esteem and ambitious seeking of gratification. All disparaged those who loved them. All had engaged in criminal behaviour.

None cared to change, he warns. None changed.

Young psychopaths comprise a substantial proportion of children who evolve into serious habitual criminals, he says. They can become tomorrow's Mafia don, cult leader or genocidal dictator. Violent psychopathic youths possess an overriding need for control, power and stimulation, and all display a complete lack of regard for the humanity of others.

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#11331 - 07/02/11 04:42 PM Re: Articles-Books-Resources - Fledgling Psychopaths [Re: Anonymous]
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QUOTABLE: MARTIN SMEDLEY

"People are going to say, if you've been abused as a child, if you've been deprived, if your environment's been so shocking, then inevitably that's going to have consequences in the way that you impact on your environment and on other people. But it's just not enough. It's an inadequate answer. If you look at areas of deprivation in the world, if you look at Third World countries, if you look at children who've got nothing, who've been abused, they don't turn automatically into psychopaths. This is something that is innate to the child, which the child is born with — not, I would stress, directly inherited. It's not that if your dad's a psychopath then you're a psychopath but it's much more to do with a combination of genes working together or not working properly together that creates a predisposition for this."

Martin Smedley, a specialist in
caring for seriously disturbed
children, cited on Equinox,
Channel 4 (Britain),
December 7, 2000

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