Matt Delisi

Matt Delisi
Iowa State University | ISU · Sociology and Criminal Justice

Ph.D.

About

477
Publications
237,516
Reads
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12,586
Citations
Citations since 2017
176 Research Items
6963 Citations
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Introduction
Matt DeLisi is Distinguished Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Professor, Coordinator of Criminal Justice, and Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University. A Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and Association for Psychological Science, he is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Criminal Justice, and Visiting Professor at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom.

Publications

Publications (477)
Article
Extreme criminal careers illustrate the effects of multiple forms of psychopathology especially the confluence of psychopathy, multiple externalizing behaviors, and homicidality. Here, we present a forensic case report of Mr. Z, an offender whose antisocial conduct and criminal justice system involvement spans the late 1940s to the present, whose c...
Article
The function of correctional institutions is to maintain institutional security and safety, and institutional misconduct undermines that security. Few studies have examined the individuals who pose the greatest threat to institutional security and are responsible for the greatest number of misconduct incidents (i.e., the 99th percentile of miscondu...
Article
Background Research on sexual homicide of child victims is scarce. Studies focusing on the lethal outcome in sexual crimes involving adult victims suggest that those offenders who end up killing their victims present both specific individual and crimecommission process characteristics. Nevertheless, recent studies indicate that findings with adult...
Article
Despite cultural notions that psychopathy and homicide arestrongly linked, there has not been a quantitative meta-analytic review of the association between psychopathy and homicide offending. The current study meta-analyzed data from 29 unique samples from 22 studies that included 2,603 homicide offenders, and found that the mean psychopathy score...
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Full-text available
Lynam's fledgling psychopathy hypothesis advanced that youth who manifest Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorder (CD), and ADHD display many behaviors that are consistent with psychopathy seen among adults, but research support for it is equivocal. We know littleabout the developmental course of fledgling psychopathy into adulthood a...
Article
The United States Supreme Court in Jones vs. Mississippi (2021) reinforced the Miller decision to allow sentencing judges the discretion to determine whether individuals convicted of murder under age 18 warrant a life sentence. The Miller decision dictates individualized sentencing, citing psychosocial disadvantages, immaturity, potential evolving...
Article
Psychopathy is an important forensic mental health construct. Despite this importance, the research base of psychopathy among individuals convicted of capital murder is limited. Archival data were collected from a sample of 636 persons convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the State of California. Psychopathy was assessed using the...
Article
Inmate misconduct is a focal concern among those who live and work in prisons, and is committed primarily by a few offenders with discernable backgrounds. The current study examines the most prolific rule violators (the top 1 and 10%) among a large sample of inmates housed across Ohio correctional facilities. We focus on the characteristics that pr...
Book
Fascinating book is coming soon and is available for pre-order: https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Bundy-Unsolved-Murder-Epidemic/dp/303121417X
Article
Full-text available
Research focusing on the role of adverse childhood experience (ACE) of individuals involved in sexual homicide (SH) is scarce. Theoretical models of SH have postulated a connection between these adverse experiences and the development of internal risk factors. However, such assumptions have never been empirically tested. Therefore, the current rese...
Article
Research focusing on the role of adverse childhood experience (ACE) of individuals involved in sexual homicide (SH) is scarce. Theoretical models of SH have postulated a connection between these adverse experiences and the development of internal risk factors. However, such assumptions have never been empirically tested. Therefore, the current rese...
Article
Homicidal ideation is an important, but understudied construct in criminological research. Unfortunately, previous investigations into homicidal ideation are limited by reliance on small convenience samples, larger correctional samples with limited access to the most serious and violent criminal offenders, and single-item measures of the central co...
Article
This study examines patterns of violent institutional misconduct among a cohort of serious juvenile offenders who were incarcerated in state-level juvenile correctional facilities and then state adult prison institutions. Within the cohort, one group of offenders was immediately transferred to the adult prison system following their incarceration i...
Article
Everyday evil is seen in a broad range of scenarios of intended behaviors that are often not violations of criminal law, but nevertheless cause significant and enduring personal and emotional harm. For this reason, the manifestations of everyday evil have pressing psychiatric import. Here, we propose the Welner Inventory of Everyday Extreme and Out...
Article
Inmate politics in prisons has been well chronicled. Yet, little is known about the role of inmate politics in county jails. Utilizing data from a natural experiment and complied through longitudinal case study methods, this study observed the dynamic socio-political concepts of the county jail inmate environment that followed California's 2011 sen...
Article
Although research on the dark figure of delinquency has produced valuable quantitative estimates of its size, prior research is mechanistic and atheoretical about the conceptual underpinnings of the crimes that go undetected by the juvenile justice system. Drawing on data from 253 adju-dicated youth in residential placements in the Midwestern Unite...
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Full-text available
The aim of the present study is to investigate the utility of The Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) in predicting criminal recidivism among a sample of incarcerated male juvenile delinquents. Participants (N = 228, M = 16.38 years, SD = 1.26 years) from juvenile detention centers were followed during a two-year period and categorized as...
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Full-text available
(1) Background: The one general psychopathology (p Factor) theory asserts that a superordinate dimensional construct encompasses underlying forms of psychopathology, but the theory has limited empirical linkages to criminology. (2) Methods: We utilized case reports from 12 male offenders selected from a federal jurisdiction in the central United St...
Article
Background: Psychopathy and low self-control are useful constructs for understanding antisociality/criminality. The triarchic model of psychopathy in particular is a recent and promising conceptualisation, composed of boldness, disinhibition, and meanness - three personality traits that have never been studied in tandem with low self-control. Aims:...
Article
In the wake of Supreme Court decisions Miller v. Alabama (2012), Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016), and Jones v. Mississippi (2020) that collectively abolished mandatory life sentencing for juveniles, individualized assessment of juvenile homicide offenders is paramount. Yet few actuarial tools exist to inform risk assessment. The Depravity Standard,...
Article
Dark Triad traits and self-control are considered viable causal precursors to antisocial and criminal outcomes in youth. The purpose of the present study is to concurrently compare how Dark Triad traits and self-control differ in terms of predicting self-reported juvenile delinquency, CD symptoms, proactive overt aggression, and crime seriousness....
Article
The present study investigates whether self-reported psychopathic traits moderate the relationships between delinquent career features (i.e., age of first detention in a juvenile detention center, crime frequency, crime diversity, crime charges, and Conduct Disorder) and one-year general delinquency and violent delinquency recidivism outcomes. The...
Article
The Dark Tetrad refers to a cluster of four socially aversive and undesirable personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. The main aim of the present study was to validate the recently developed Short Dark Tetrad (SD4) scale among a sample of young adults (N=429, M=22.11 years, SD=3.35, range=18-42) from Portugal, com...
Article
Grasmick et al.’s Low Self-Control Scale (LSCS) is considered the gold-standard of self-control measures due to the frequency of its use in criminology. The aim of the present study is to examine the psychometric properties of the LSCS from a more modern psychometric perspective and develop a shorter version. Our sample consisted of young adults (N...
Article
The general psychopathology general theory or p Factor is an influential theoretical development in the social and behavioral sciences, but has yet to gain traction in criminology and criminal justice. Drawing on data from a sample of 1722 federal pretrial defendants, we created a 22-item composite indicator or additive index of the p Factor contai...
Article
The Weinberger Adjustment Inventory—Short Form (WAI-SF) is a multidimensional measure of behavioral adjustment frequently used with forensic, clinical, and community populations. However, no previous studies have examined the WAI-SF from a more modern psychometric perspective including second-order models, measurement invariance and a better estima...
Chapter
Psychopathy has been so consistently associated with numerous forms of violent antisocial behavior that it sometimes characterized as the unified theory of crime. Here we explicate empirical linkages between psychopathy and the most severe forms of crime including various manifestations of homicide offending (e.g., sexual homicide, serial murder, a...
Chapter
Psychopathy is a personality disorder most similar to Antisocial Personality Disorder and has a network of characteristics that impair interpersonal, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Psychopathy is also the most parsimonious and potent explanation for antisocial behavior in the social, behavioral, and forensic sciences. The current chapter sy...
Article
The Dark Triad composed of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism, and also self-control are consistently related to 10 antisocial and criminal externalizing outcomes. In the present study, we examined whether self-control mediates the relationships between the Dark Triad and delinquency, conduct disorder, and crime seriousness outcomes. The...
Article
Gender is a critical explanatory variable among juvenile justice system-involved youth, with the literature showing differential protective and risk factors for serious delinquency among female and male youth. The aim of the current study is to examine gender differences in psychopathic and related traits, externalizing behaviors, and offense profi...
Article
Self-control and psychopathy are correlated with antisocial behaviors among diverse samples, and a spate of recent studies examined their direct associations with criminal outcomes. However, research has largely overlooked mediation effects between psychopathy, self-control and deviant outcomes. The current study examined self-control mediation eff...
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Full-text available
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are linked to various conduct and behavior problems within juvenile delinquents, but fewer studies focused on these associations among specific forensic typologies of offending. Utilizing data from 3382 institutionalized delinquents in Texas, logistic regression models indicated multiple associations between ACE...
Article
Purpose Sex offender registration and notification act (SORNA) offenders are a source of scholarly study across the social, behavioral, forensic and legal sciences with the bulk of literature focusing on the legal standing and deterrent value of sexual offender registries. Less research focuses on the offending careers of current SORNA offenders re...
Article
Although Elijah Anderson’s code of the street thesis has received a great deal of scholarly attention, fewer studies have examined the characteristics associated with its adoption. Existing evidence is supportive of Anderson’s initial observations, however, less is known about the association between personality and emotional characteristics and ad...
Article
The notion of criminal character—indicative of an offender unresponsive to rehabilitative efforts, largely unamenable to treatment, primed for recidivism, and committed to a criminal or delinquent lifestyle—has an uneven history in criminology and criminal justice. Despite tangential efforts to apply criminal character considerations to delinquency...
Article
An individual's capacity for self-control is an important factor when considering the link between aggression and delinquency outcomes. The aim of the present study is to examine the possible role of self-control as a moderator of the aggression-antisociality/delinquency link among a sample of 567 youth (M = 15.91 years, SD = .99 years, age range =...
Article
The United States Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama highlighted the importance of an individual’s “incorrigibility” and the prospect of “irreparable corruption” when weighing possible life sentencing for juveniles convicted of homicide. In this review, we study research in multiple content areas spanning homicide recidivism, life-course-p...
Article
The aim of the present study is to examine the possible role of psychopathic traits as a moderator of the aggression-antisociality/delinquency link. Our sample was composed of 567 youth (M = 15.91 years, SD = 0.99 years, age range = 14-18 years) from Portugal. Results indicated that psychopathic features significantly moderate four different forms...
Article
Research generally supports the notion that primary and secondary psychopathy variants are relatively distinct, with primary psychopathy reflecting a congenital affective deficit, and secondary psychopathy reflecting acquired affective disorders. However, little is known about how social anxiety might play in terms of the primary vs. secondary psyc...
Article
Child pornography possession/receipt offenders are a controversial offender group due to mixed and occasionally divergent evidence about their risk profile, offending history and psychopathology. Using a population of male offenders who ever perpetrated a sexual offense from a federal jurisdiction in the central United States, the current study dev...
Article
Correctional clients frequently have extensive trauma and abuse experiences and the adverse childhood experiences framework is increasingly influential in the criminological and forensic sciences. Unfortunately, most measurement involves binary measures that fail to capture the complexity of this abuse. Using a population of federal offenders who e...
Article
Violent video game playing is a consistent risk factor for aggression, but research on its psychopathology and trait underpinnings are primarily based on community or university student samples, thus the ecological validity to adjudicated and juvenile justice system-involved youth lacks clarity. This is an important void in the literature because r...
Article
Protective factors facilitate success on community supervision, but relatively little is known about correctional clients who are highly compliant particularly in the federal system. Drawing on a near population of federal clients on supervised release in the Midwestern United States, the current study examined variables associated with compliant s...
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Overlap between self-control and dark triad traits (i.e., psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism) is potentially problematic for efforts to distinguish dimensions associated with elevated risk for antisociality and crime. The aim of the present study is to examine the potential overlap between self-control and psychopathy, Machiavellianism,...
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Full-text available
Trauma exposure and low self-control are robustly associated with youth antisocial/criminal problems, but the interrelation of these constructs is unclear when taking into account both traumatic events and reactions. The objective of the present study is to examine self-control mediation effects related to trauma and juvenile delinquency, conduct d...
Article
Psychopathy and trauma exposure are robustly associated with youth conduct problems, but the interrelation of these constructs is unclear. The objective of the present study is to examine psychopathy mediation effects related to trauma events and trauma reactions and juvenile delinquency, conduct disorder, crime seriousness, and proactive overt agg...
Article
Self-control refers to the ability to override impulses and behave in accordance with societal norms. Deficits in self-control are strongly associated with conduct problems, externalizing disorders, crime, and violence. The main aim of the present study is to investigate possible moderation and mediation effects related to self-control. A school sa...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of the dark figure of sexual offending using federal correctional clients reported significant evidence of previously unknown or hidden sexual violence, often among clients with no official criminal history. Unfortunately, research has produced variable estimates of how large the dark figure is. The current study sought to replicate recent...
Article
Self-control and psychopathy are general theories of antisociality that have considerable empirical support, are conceptually similar, and have occasionally been studied together. A recent head-to-head test of the theories and found that self-control generally outperformed psychopathy among assorted criminal outcomes among institutionalized delinqu...
Article
The triarchic model of psychopathy is one of the most influential models of psychopathy developed in recent years. The current aim is to investigate the utility of a self-report measure of the triarchic model of psychopathy in predicting criminal recidivism among a sample of incarcerated juvenile offenders. Male youth participants (N=228, M=16.38 y...
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Full-text available
Research on prejudice has historically employed Blumer’s group position as a theoretical alternative to Allport’s group conflict in understanding prejudice against members of minority groups. Our purpose in this study is to extend the theoretical parameters of group position into the domain of immigration by defining prejudice in terms of non-immig...
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Prison murder is the most severe form of institutional violence but its exceedingly low prevalence has limited prior research. Recent studies of prison murders make clear that serious, violent, and chronic career criminals are most likely to perpetrate inmate murders with equivocal evidence of the role of prior homicide offending on prison murder....
Article
Childhood maltreatment and inept parental disciplinary, attachment, and monitoring practices evidence a relationship with early and severe childhood and adolescent aggression and have figured prominently as causative factors in theoretical and empirical underpinnings of lifelong antisocial behavior. Abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction have be...
Article
Current scholarship on gang involvement and behavior has focused on several individual and environmental factors believed to drive the use of violence, yet limited research has explored the potentially confounding role of behavioral disorders. Using a sample of youth who completed a long-term residential placement within the Florida Department of J...
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Full-text available
Since Anderson’s now classic, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, an increasing number of researchers have found a significant association between the code of the street and antisocial behavior. Less researched, however, is the relationship between the code of the street and cognate psychological factors. Bu...
Article
Juvenile justice systems today have various methods to sanction serious, violent, and chronic delinquents. One of these methods is through blended sentencing. Broadly, blended sentencing processes allow for juvenile justice sanctioning first and then, if needed, criminal justice sanctioning—including placement in adult prisons. The current study ex...
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Full-text available
Research provides consistent evidence that non-offenders have greater self-control than offenders. While such differences exist across a range of samples, the ability of measures of self-control to discriminate between different groups merits additional attention. We advance research on this topic by comparing the self-control of police officers to...
Article
Research has indicated juvenile delinquents with more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are more likely to be recidivate. However, much of this research has relied upon limited samples, such as those serving a community-based sentence. The current study examined the impact of exposure to ACEs on recidivism among a cohort of serious state incarce...
Article
Objective: To assess the prevalence and behavioral, sociodemographic, and psychiatric/psychological correlates of homicidal ideation among a sample of children and adolescents. Study design: We employed descriptive and multivariate logit models of homicidal ideation using data from the 2012-2016 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample from the He...
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Full-text available
A long tradition of theoretical and empirical work has described different variants (or subtypes) of psychopathy, in an attempt to delineate similarities and differences among constellations of psychopathic traits. Research in this area has the potential to increase our understanding of the etiology of different psychopathy variants, their associat...
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Background: A large body of research has examined the relationship between victimization and future offending, with results suggesting that crime victims are at higher risk of future criminal behavior-known as the victim-offender overlap. Prior studies have primarily examined the relationship between general victimization (e.g., violent victimizat...
Article
Full-text available
Disparate research has shown that exposure to chaotic homes and adverse childhood experiences are associated with antisocial behavior, but these lines of research have not converged. The current study explored the additive effects of exposure to chaotic homes and three forms of childhood abuse and their association with serious delinquency among 2,...
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The insanity defense is among the most controversial legal constructs that has attracted the attention of scholars, practitioners and policy makers. Here, we conducted a systematic review of the literature spanning 2004 to 2019 that produced 58 studies of insanity defense research. Findings are organized according to: (1) assessments and assessment...
Article
Self-control refers to the ability to override impulses and behave in accordance with societal norms, and deficits in self-control are strongly associated with conduct problems, externalizing disorders, crime, and violence. Here, we examine the psychometric properties of the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) and its refined version (BSCS-R) among a f...
Article
Background Adverse childhood experiences are associated with multiple negative behavioral outcomes and childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is particularly damaging. There is controversial evidence that CSA has a specialized effect on subsequent sexual offending. Objective The current study tested the hypothesis that CSA is associated with sexual offendin...
Article
Homicide is the most serious and costly criminal offense and better forensic and criminological understanding of homicidal ideation as a potential psychobehavioral precursor to homicidal conduct is critical. Using data from the 2016 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) distributed by...
Article
Full-text available
Popular in the field of developmental psychopathology, multifinality means that an initial condition or status can manifest in diverse outcomes across life. Using a near population of federal correctional clients selected from the Midwestern United States, the current study examined the association of chronic delinquent offender status on assorted...
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Full-text available
A growing body of research has demonstrated the deleterious effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Less understood is the role of ACEs in gang involvement among juvenile offenders. The current longitudinal study employs a sample of 104,267 juvenile offenders (mean age of 16, 76% male, 46% Black non-Hispanic, 15.7% Hispanic) to examine the...
Article
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Institutional misconduct has criminogenic implications, whereas visitation, work, and educational involvement have desistance implications, but there is considerable heterogeneity in the inmate population and in the effects of institutional experiences and various programming on their immediate and postrelease behavior. Using a near population of o...
Article
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant public health issue associated with increased medical comorbidity and economic burden. The majority of studies of TBI among clinical populations are geographically limited and rely on small samples. As such, the current study seeks to examine the prevalence and psychosocial correlates of TBI in a nation...
Article
Researchers have found that legal cynicism is a significant predictor of crime. Although legal cynicism developed as a form of anomie, it is also plausible that legal cynicism is itself a deviant rationalization to justify one's criminal behavior. As such, legal cynicism might be a derivative manifestation of other individual-level constructs that...
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Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)is a severe personality disorder with robust associations with crime and violence, but its precise etiology is unknown. Drawing on near-population of federal correctional clients in the Midwestern United States, the current study examined antecedent background factors spanning adverse childhood experiences and...
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Full-text available
Childhood abuse is associated with increased psychopathic features among girls, but most prior research is based on data from correctional samples of female delinquents and less is known about how specific forms of childhood abuse affect specific features of psychopathy. Using a school-based community sample of 696 girls aged 9-17 years from Barbad...
Research
Full-text available
Studies of homicide offenders that engage in repeat, non-serial homicide offending are scarce and most studies lack comprehensive criminal career data that include convictions for 1st degree murder. Drawing on archival data on 682 male convicted felons from the Florida Department of Corrections, the current study examined the prognostic association...
Article
This study examines the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on the risk of internalizing or externalizing outcomes among juveniles. While myriad research has investigated the impacts of ACEs on internalizing and externalizing outcomes, it is unclear whether ACEs have a stronger link to one outcome over the other when controlling for oth...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of homicide offenders that engage in repeat, non-serial homicide offending are scarce and most studies lack comprehensive criminal career data that include convictions for 1st degree murder. Drawing on archival data on 682 male convicted felons from the Florida Department of Corrections, the current study examined the prognostic association...
Article
The development and validation of empirically sound measures that operationalize the Triarchic model of psychopathy among youth is currently in the nascent stage. The present study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of a brief refined measure of the Triarchic model of psychopathy based on the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI-Tri-S...
Article
Suicide is the leading cause of death for incarcerated youth, and up to half of all juveniles in confinement experience suicidal ideation in addition to other psychopathology, including psychopathic personality features. Unfortunately, limited research has investigated the psychopathy-suicidality link among juvenile delinquents and using newer psyc...