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An investigation of the role of personality, familial, and peer‐related characteristics in homicidal offending using retrospective data

Daniel Boduszek (Based in the School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Londonderry, UK)
Philip Hyland (Based in the School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Londonderry, UK)
Ashling Bourke (Based in the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 21 September 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The current study seeks to assess the predictive utility of personality, family violence, associations with criminal friends, peer rejection, parental attachment, and parental supervision as predictors of homicidal behaviour among a sample of 144 male recidivistic offenders.

Design/methodology/approach

This research project utilized a quasi‐experimental design with propensity score matching in order to minimize the effect of selection bias. Post‐matching binary logistic regression analysis was subsequently conducted in order to determine what factors predict homicidal behaviour.

Findings

Post‐matching regression results indicated that experience of family violence, psychoticism, and parental attachments were significant predictors of being a homicidal murderer.

Originality/value

The findings provide strong empirical support for the important role of early childhood experiences in the prediction of homicidal acts, along with the crucial role of personality (psychoticism). These findings provide additional support for Eysenck's theoretical indications regarding the role of psychoticism in the prediction of violent criminal behaviours.

Keywords

Citation

Boduszek, D., Hyland, P. and Bourke, A. (2012), "An investigation of the role of personality, familial, and peer‐related characteristics in homicidal offending using retrospective data", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 96-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/20093821211264414

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited