Sunday, October 11, 2015

Motivation for aggressive religious radicalization: Goal regulation theory and a personality × threat × affordance hypothesis

A new set of hypotheses is presented regarding the cause of aggressive religious radicalization (ARR). It is grounded in classic and contemporary theory of human motivation and goal regulation, together with recent empirical advances in personality, social, and neurophysiological psychology. We specify personality traits, threats, and group affordances that combine to divert normal motivational processes toward ARR. Conducive personality traits are oppositional, anxiety-prone, and identity-weak (i.e., morally bewildered). Conducive threats are those that arise from seemingly insurmountable external forces and frustrate effective goal regulation. Conducive affordances include opportunity for immediate and concrete engagement in active groups that are powered by conspiracy narratives, infused with cosmic significance, encouraging of moral violence, and sealed with religious unfalsifiability. We propose that ARR is rewarding because it can spur approach motivated states that mask vulnerability for people whose dispositions and circumstances would otherwise leave them mired in anxious distress.
“We have killed all of the children in the auditorium…what do we do now?”
—Taliban gunman, December 16, 2014
Full article at:

1Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
2Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
*Correspondence: Ian McGregor, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada, ac.oolretawu@rogergcm.nai

Friday, October 2, 2015

Femicide & Murdered Women's Children: Which Future for These Children Orphans of a Living Parent?

To assess the prevalence of femicides in Italy over the last three years and the potential long lasting effects of these traumatic events for the children of a woman who dies a violent death.

The data used in this study come from an internet search for the number of femicides occurring in Italy between 1(st) January, 2012 and 31(st) October, 2014.

The total number of femicides was 319; the average age of murdered women was 47.50 ± 19.26. Cold arms in the form of sharp object -mostly knives- have caused the death of 102/319 women; firearms were used in 87/319 cases; asphyxiation was the chosen method in 52/319 cases. About the place where the femicides occurred, 209/319 were committed inside the victim's house. Children of women who died a violent death were 417 with a total of 180 minors in less than three years. A total of 52/417 children were witness to the killing and, among these 30/52 were minors; in 18/417 cases, children were murdered together with their mother and among these 9/18 were minors.

Long-term studies are needed to ascertain what happens to these children, to understand what are the most appropriate psychological treatments, the best decisions about the contact with their father and the best placement for these children.

Below:  Cumulative number of femicides per year

Full article at: 

  • 1Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.
  • 2Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 3Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 4Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 5Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 6Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 7Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy.
  • 8Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  • 9Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  • 10Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 11Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 12Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy.
  • 13Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy
  • 14Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  • 15Department of Pediatrics, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.
  • 16Institute of Pediatrics and Residency program, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
  • 17Pediatric and Infectious Disease Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  • 18Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care, University of Palermo, Palermo
  • 19Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

The Rise of Boko Haram

Via: MT 

Circumstances and Outcomes of a Firearm Seizure Law: Marion County, Indiana, 2006–2013

Indiana statute allows police to seize firearms without a warrant if the officer believes a person meets the law's definition of “dangerous.” 

Review of the use of this law in Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana, showed that prosecutors filed petitions in court to retain weapons seized by police under this law 404 times between 2006 and 2013. Police removed weapons from people due to identification of a risk of suicide (68%) or violence (21%), or the presence of psychosis (16%). The firearm seizures occurred in the context of domestic disputes in 28% of cases and intoxication was noted in 26% of cases. 

There were significant demographic differences in the circumstances of firearm seizures and the firearms seized. The seized firearms were retained by the court at the initial hearing in 63% of cases; this retention was closely linked to the defendant's failure to appear at the hearing. The court dismissed 29% of cases at the initial hearing, closely linked to the defendant's presence at the hearing. In subsequent hearings of cases not dismissed, the court ordered the destruction of the firearms in 72% of cases, all when the individual did not appear in court, and dismissed 24% of the cases, all when the individual was present at the hearing. 

Overall, the Indiana law removed weapons from a small number of people, most of whom did not seek return of their weapons. The firearm seizure law thus functioned as a months-long cooling-off period for those who did seek the return of their guns.

Via: Purchase full article at:

By: George F. Parker M.D
Director of Forensic Psychiatry, IU Health Neuroscience Center, Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

No Effect of Unemployment on Intimate Partner-Related Femicide During the Financial Crisis: A Longitudinal Ecological Study in Spain

Spain’s financial crisis has been characterized by an increase in unemployment. This increase could have produced an increase in deaths of women due to intimate partner-related femicides (IPF). This study aims to determine whether the increase in unemployment among both sexes in different regions in Spain is related to an increase in the rates of IPF during the current financial crisis period.

An ecological longitudinal study was carried out in Spain’s 17 regions. Two study periods were defined: pre-crisis period (2005–2007) and crisis period (2008–2013). IPF rates adjusted by age and unemployment rates for men and women were calculated. We fitted multilevel linear regression models in which observations at level 1 were nested within regions according to a repeated measurements design.

Rates of unemployment have progressively increased in Spain, rising above 20 % from 2008 to 2013 in some regions. IPF rates decreased in some regions during crisis period with respect to pre-crisis period. The multilevel analysis does not support the existence of a significant relationship between the increase in unemployment in men and women and the decrease in IPF since 2008.

The increase in unemployment in men and women in Spain does not appear to have an effect on IPF. The results of the multilevel analysis discard the hypothesis that the increase in the rates of unemployment in women and men are related to an increase in IPF rates.

The decline in IPF since 2008 might be interpreted as the result of exposure to other factors such as the lower frequency of divorces in recent years or the medium term effects of the integral protection measures of the law on gender violence that began in 2005.

Below:  Spain time series for unemployment rates of men and women and intimate partner-related femicide rates (2005–2013)

Full article at: 

By: J. Torrubiano-Domínguez1*C. Vives-Cases12M. San-Sebastián3B. Sanz-Barbero24I. Goicolea13 and C. Álvarez-Dardet12

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Is Tattooing a Risk Factor for Adolescents' Criminal Behavior? Empirical Evidence from an Administrative Data Set of Juvenile Detainees in Taiwan

Juvenile crime affects not only the victims of the crime but also the delinquents' future. How to prevent adolescent criminal behavior has become an important public policy issue. This study contributes to this interesting issue by examining the relationship between tattooing and adolescents' criminal behavior. In particular, this study investigates whether or not having a tattoo/tattoos is connected to the incidence of various criminal activities, including: larceny, robbery, fraud, assault, drug use, and homicide. 

A unique sample of 973 juvenile detainees drawn from the administrative profiles in Taiwan and the coarsened exact matching method were utilized. Results show that compared to their nontattooed counterparts, tattooed juvenile detainees were significantly more likely to commit fraud, assault, drug abuse, and homicide by 3%, 13%, 9%, and 9%, respectively. In contrast, tattooing was not significantly associated with larceny or robbery. 

From a policy perspective, given the significant link between tattooing and criminal behavior, the presence of a tattoo in adolescents may serve as a valuable indicator regarding adolescents' high probability of committing crimes.

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By: Liao PA1Chang HHSu YJ.
  • 1Department of Economics, Shih Hsin University, Taipei, 11645, Taiwan.