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Title: Childhood trauma and executive functioning in violent and criminal samples
Author: Fitton, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 7744
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Violent and criminal behaviours have significant economic and psychological costs to society that contribute to substantial pain and suffering. It is important to understand the processes involved in such behaviours in order to implement preventative strategies and interventions. The first paper is a meta-analytic review exploring the association between childhood trauma and violent outcomes in prospective studies. A systematic search yielded 18 eligible papers, all of which defined childhood trauma in terms of child maltreatment and witnessing domestic violence. Overall, childhood trauma was found to increase the risk of violent outcomes with a random-effects odds ratio of 1.8 (95% CI 1.4-2.4) and substantial heterogeneity (I2 = 92%). It is concluded that childhood trauma is associated with violent outcomes, and the clinical and forensic implications are discussed together with recommendations for future research. The second paper presents a quantitative study investigating aspects of executive functioning in older probationers. Executive dysfunction is considered to have a role in offending behaviour but to date no studies have specifically examined the executive functioning of older probationers. Thirty-two males aged fifty years and over were recruited and completed the Verbal Fluency and Stroop tests to assess mental flexibility and response inhibition. They also completed measures of mental health, substance use and cognitive impairment. In comparison to normative data older probationers did not present with deficits in executive functioning although they did display high rates of mental health and substance use difficulties. These preliminary findings can be used to guide future research with older probationers. The study strengths and limitations, service implications, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Fazel, Seena Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available