The birth of a healthy child is the awe of every parent. Looking at their beautiful eyes , their soft skin and their innocence face warms the heart. How does this innocent child become a threat to society by voracious killing with no remorse being reborn symbolically as a Psychopath?
The question in debate nature verse nurture? The simple truth is not straight forward from my perspective. I would say it both has an influence on the baby , child and the adult as it evolves through life. From a psychological and neuroscience reference the brain does change and evolve to adapt to the environment and nurture. The paper The reappearing psychopath: Psychopathy’s stain on future generations made two observations that I found fascinating. The Psychopath behaviour of Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) only diagnosed at 18 years old. Personally I believe that some children form very strong characteristics before that legal age.A main ingredient of ADP is pathological lying which is a trait of a Psychopath. In the paper it noted that 42 months old children can be conscious liars. The second observation I noticed that the brains of pathological liars have a 22–26% increase in pre-frontal white matter. During adolescence the natural pruning of the brain reduces this area but in Psychopaths it remains the same. The brain evolves due to other constraints an example of access stress that again has influence on the brain development.
Another paper suggestion that antisocial behaviour in children with elevated levels of CU traits (AB/CU+ ) One marker in children with AB (Antisocial behavior) and callous-unemotional (CU) is a pattern for a potential Psychopath. The question of environment is another causality of children and adolescents with callous unemotional development. I think of a seed to grow the conditions need to be right for further growth and fruitage. There was a study of this vital question how conduct problems (CP) is fertile soil to callous unemotional problems. I quote from the research paper also reported that higher levels of CP in the child, lower socioeconomic status (SES) of the family, lower cognitive abilities, and poorer quality of parenting were associated with greater stability of CU traits. The child environment related to the family systems of unstable management and lack of resources does not help the child chances in reducing the risk of becoming a psychopath.
Psychopathy Checklist Youth Version (PCL-YV) is one tool designed to identify traits in young offenders. The list contains obvious clues of antisocial behaviour but two that stood out to me was 1:Unstable Interpersonal Relationships 2 :Failure to Accept Responsibility. Relationships are nurtured at childhood influencing the social cues of what is expected and learnt from adults. Accept responsibilities is essential for relationships to grow in any structure in society that’s in the family or community. I can’t imagine what some children have to suffer in some communities and families where love and affection is devoid and how a small child has live in such cruel environment. Reminds me of the saying how dogs reflect the personality of their owners. Aggressive dogs often learnt their behaviour. In a Similar vain the future Psychopaths responsibilities is related to the environment it was subjected to.
Another foundation for a Psychopath in training is pathological lying. We all lie from time to time. It could be your age , weight , even saying to friend you like something when you don’t. Children explore this avenue of lying , I had this experience with my 4 children and they all have done it. If you think why a child might lie is a good start to understand their world. To be a pathological and habitual liar takes practice. The many reasons why Psychopaths lie is related to their behaviour patterns. In essence the lack of emotional and cognitive empathy so they can do what they want.
In this short post it opens the doors to understanding the challenges society has in evaluating the emergence of adult Psychopaths . The birth of a Psychopath is a combination of nature and nurture in the complex world of behaviour and the amazing complex human brain.