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Dyslexia and risk of future violence in forensic psychiatric patients
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis consists of three studies. The main aim was to increase knowledge about dyslexia in forensic psychiatric patients and about how dyslexia is related to risk of future violence. In Study I, the prevalence of dyslexia was assessed by using different criteria, and the results showed that 17-53% of the patients met discrepancy criteria for dyslexia, while 50% had poor phonological processing skills and met the phonological core criterion for dyslexia. Poor phonological processing skills are believed to be the underlying cause of dyslexia. The results from Study I suggest that the patients’ phonological processing skills are not related to disadvantageous background factors and reading habits. Previous research indicates that dyslexia may worsen aggressive behaviour tendencies, and offenders with dyslexia are reported to be more violent than offenders without dyslexia. Violent crimes are strongly predicted by psychopathy, and therefore Study II focused on the relationship between phonological processing skills and psychopathy in order to clarify whether patients with dyslexia are characterized by psychopathy and therefore act more aggressively than those without dyslexia. However, the results from Study II showed that the patients’ reading speed, word decoding, and phonological processing skills were not significantly related to the total score of psychopathy, but significantly related to affective and interpersonal traits of psychopathy. In Study III, the focus was on aggression and risk of future violence in patients with and without dyslexia. The results revealed that the patients with dyslexia self-reported more anger and hostility compared to the patients without dyslexia. There was only a marginally significant tendency for the patients with dyslexia to have higher risk of future violence compared to those without dyslexia. However, poor phonological processing skills were a significant predictor of anger, which in turn predicted risk of future violence. Overall, the results showed that reading and writing problems are prevalent in forensic patients and that dyslexia does not have a straightforward relationship with future violence. The risk factors for criminality in patients with dyslexia are probably cumulative, and found in biological factors, individual abilities and personality, family, peers, school, community, and society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2011. , 77 p.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56721ISBN: 978-91-7447-286-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-56721DiVA: diva2:412631
Public defence
2011-11-30, David Magnussonsalen, hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 2: Submitted. Available from: 2011-11-08 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2011-10-31Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Dyslexia prevalence in forensic psychiatric patients: Dependence on criteria and background factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dyslexia prevalence in forensic psychiatric patients: Dependence on criteria and background factors
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Research on dyslexia in forensic psychiatric patients is limited, and therefore one aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of dyslexia in a sample of forensic psychiatric patients by using different criteria. Another aim was to investigate how phonological processing skills in these patients might be related to disadvantageous background factors and poor reading habits. Forensic psychiatric patients performed reading, writing and intelligence tests, as well as a battery of phonological processing tasks. They were also interviewed about reading habits and literacy conditions in their childhood homes. Data regarding the patients’ dyslexia diagnoses and backgrounds were collected from forensic psychiatric investigations and patient records. The results showed that 11-53% of the patients met the discrepancy criteria for dyslexia, while 50% fulfilled the phonological core deficit criterion. Neither disadvantageous background factors nor reading habits were related to phonological processing skills.

National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56717 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-26 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2011-10-31Bibliographically approved
2. Superficiality in forensic psychiatric patients is related to superior phonological skills
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Superficiality in forensic psychiatric patients is related to superior phonological skills
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Psychopaths are reported to have unusual language processing, and they have been suggested to have better phonological awareness than do nonpsychopaths. However, it is unclear how degree of psychopathy is related to reading and spelling and to phonological processing skills. Swedish-speaking forensic psychiatric patients performed reading and spelling tests as well as a battery of tasks assessing phonological processing. The patients were also assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist Screening Version (PCL:SV). Their scores on Part 1 (affective and interpersonal traits) of the PCL:SV were significantly positively correlated with results on decoding and reading speed tests as well as with phonological processing skills. However, the only item that was significantly related to phonological processing skills was Superficial. Phonological processing skills and vocabulary knowledge explained a large part of the variance in superficiality.

National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56718 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-26 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2011-10-31Bibliographically approved
3. Aggression and Risk of Future Violence in Forensic Psychiatric Patients with and without Dyslexia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aggression and Risk of Future Violence in Forensic Psychiatric Patients with and without Dyslexia
2011 (English)In: Dyslexia, ISSN 1076-9242, E-ISSN 1099-0909, Vol. 17, no 2, 201-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dyslexia does not cause criminal behaviour, but it may worsen aggressive behaviour tendencies. In this study, aggressive behaviour and risk of future violence were compared between forensic psychiatric patients with and without dyslexia. Dyslexia was assessed using the Swedish phonological processing battery ‘The Pigeon’. The patients filled in the Aggression Questionnaire, and trained assessors performed the risk assessments using HCR-20 version 2. Patients with dyslexia self-reported more aggressive behaviour compared with those without dyslexia. There was only a nearly significant tendency (p=0.06) for the patients with dyslexia to receive higher scores in the HCR-20 compared with the patients without dyslexia, and phonological processing skills did not significantly predict aggression or risk of future violence. However, regression analyses demonstrated that poor phonological processing skills are a significant predictor of anger, which in turn significantly predicts risk of future violence.

Keyword
dyslexia, adults, phonological awareness, aggression
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56719 (URN)10.1002/dys.425 (DOI)000289639500006 ()
Available from: 2011-04-26 Created: 2011-04-26 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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