Previous research has found significant relationships between various dark personality traits (Machiavellianism, sadism, narcissism, and psychopathy) and externalizing behaviors including delinquency (Muris et al., 2013). Although many studies have examined the relationships among dark personality, risk propensity, and delinquency, little research has examined the role of identity development and identity distress in predicting risky or antisocial behaviors. Therefore, this study examined the utility of using both the Dark Tetrad and identity dimensions to predict risk propensity and delinquent behaviors. Emerging adult college students (N = 424) completed an anonymous online survey battery. Results indicated that specific dark personality traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism) and identity dimensions (i.e., consolidated and disturbed identity) acted as significant predictors of risk propensity. Additionally, dark personality traits (i.e., psychopathy and sadism) and identity distress significantly predicted delinquency scores. Results demonstrate the utility of including identity-related variables when predicting delinquent or risky behavior. Therefore, targeted prevention and intervention programs aimed at reducing delinquency might promote healthy identity development and the reduction of identity distress.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Branch, Reilly, "The Relationship Among Identity Development, Dark Personality, and Risk-Taking Behaviors" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1521.