Implicit attitudes toward violence and their relation to psychopathy, aggression, and socially adaptive behaviors in forensic psychiatric inpatients

Almar J. Zwets*, Ruud H. J. Hornsveld, Peter Muris, Jorg Huijding, Thijs Kanters, Robert J. Snowden, Hjalmar van Marle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In order to investigate the relation between implicit attitudes toward violence and different aspects of violent and social behavior in Dutch forensic psychiatric inpatients, an implicit association test was related to measures of psychopathy, aggression, and socially adaptive behaviors. Results indicated that all patients had negative implicit attitudes toward violence. Although implicit attitudes toward violence were unrelated to several self-report measures of aggression, there was a significant positive relation between these attitudes and the antisocial facet of psychopathy. Furthermore, it was found that implicit attitudes toward violence were significantly negatively associated with coping behaviors and the level of moral awareness, indicating that patients with more negative implicit attitudes toward violence more often reported these behaviors, which can be assumed to inhibit aggression. As the present study was only correlational in nature, our findings need to be further explored in prospective research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-651
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • violence
  • forensic psychiatric inpatients
  • attitudes
  • implicit association test

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