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Published: 2018-10-27

The role of adverse childhood experiences, self control and Dark Triad in the development of criminal behaviour. Correlative and differential aspects

University of Bucharest
adverse childhood experiences self-control accentuated personality traits offenders criminal behavior


This research consists of two studies that aimed primarily on identifying the links between adverse childhood experiences, the level of self-control, the „dark” personality traits, and also their relationship with criminal behavior. In the first study  we aimed to establish a relationship between all the variables. A sample of 232 psychology students participated in the research. They reported that they experienced a number of emotional adverse events in their childhood, and these events were positively associated with low levels of self-control and dark personality traits. The second study aimed to replicate the results obtained in the first study. Furthermore, we want to see the differences related to these variables between inmates and psychology students. In this study participated 87 inmates and 87 psychology students. The results showed that inmates predominantly experienced adverse childhood events of a physical nature, while students predominantly experienced adverse emotional events. It has been shown that psychopathy has been positively associated with offending behavior and the high frequency of adverse childhood events. The low level of self-control has been positively associated with adverse childhood events and negative personality traits. Further studies are needed in order to establish students' sensitivity thresholds in relation to adverse childhood events and to clarify the impact these events have had on students.


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How to Cite

Merlușcă, B.-I., & Chiracu, A. (2018). The role of adverse childhood experiences, self control and Dark Triad in the development of criminal behaviour. Correlative and differential aspects. Studia Doctoralia, 9(1), 18–37.