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Personality Differences Between Women Who Commit Person Versus Property Crime

13 June 2019


Minimal research has compared psychosocial characteristics of women who commit crimes against persons versus those who only commit property crimes. The purpose of the present study was to extend the field’s understanding of criminal pathways of women offenders and to examine whether women’s history of trauma and personality psychopathology relate to their engagement in person or property crimes. The findings indicated that property and person crimes were robustly negatively related to each other, suggesting a specialization in crime. We found no significant association between trauma history and commission of a person crime and thus were unable to explore whether borderline features accounted for the relationship between trauma symptoms and committing a person crime. Further analyses of variables on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) indicates alcohol problems and negative relationships were most strongly related to person crimes, followed by suicidal ideation and identity problems. However, only age and alcohol problems predicted person crimes. None of the variables predicted property crimes indicating that more research is needed to examine factors that influence property crimes among women.


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