A Study Among Female - Prisoners and Women Without a Criminal Record | Narcissism but Not Criminality Is Associated With Agression In Women

Aggression has drawn research attention during the past decades. It remains unclear
how self-esteem, self-perception, narcissism and certain socio-demographic factors
impact the course of aggression. Female aggression is considered to differ in
its origins and is understudied. Only few studies have attempted to examine the
aforementioned variables among females, while none of them included a comparison
between delinquent and non-delinquent individuals. The present study examines the
effect of self-esteem, self-perception, narcissism, and socio-demographic factors on
aggression among female inmates and women without criminal record (non-delinquents).
One hundred fifty-seven female inmates in the Attica’s Korydallos Female Prison and
150 women with no criminal record were assessed with Buss & Perry Aggression
Questionnaire, Rosenberg’s Self-esteem Scale, Narcissistic Personality Inventory-40 and
the Self-Perception Profile for Adults. When inmates were compared to non-delinquent
women, it emerged that higher aggression could be independently predicted by
higher levels of narcissistic personality traits and sociability, as well as lower age,
lower education, lower self-esteem, and lower levels of self-perception items including
nurturance, job competence and athletic abilities. Aggression was not predicted by the
participants’ group (inmates vs. non-delinquents). Within female inmates, independently
of the type of their offense (convicted for violent vs. non-violent crimes), it was found that
lower job competence, higher narcissistic personality traits and a history of childhood
maltreatment could predict higher aggression. Our results support the notion that female
aggression differs from male and highlight the significant parameters that may predict
aggression either among women (inmates and non-delinquent women) or among female
inmates (violent or non-violent crimes). It is the presence of narcissistic traits which predict
aggression rather than criminality in general, including violent and non-violent crimes.