The General Factor of Personality (GFP) emerges from the intercorrelations between personality traits and may reflect socially desirable behavior and social effectiveness. In the present study we examine the relation between the GFP and delinquent behavior in a large sample (n 1345) of inmates in the United States. The GFP has been linked to individual differences in Life History Strategy either favoring relatively high parental care (and a higher GFP) or high mating effort (and a lower GFP). The results show that inmates with lower GFP scores were more violent, showed more delinquent behavior, were younger when they were first arrested, were more likely to recidivate, and had experienced various psychological and social problems during their lives. The GFP and a proxy measure of general intelligence overlapped in their relation to delinquency, but results also showed that each measure accounted for unique variance in the array of delinquency measures. Overall, the present findings underline the potential relevance of the GFP as a predictor of delinquent behavior.

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Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences
Department of Psychology

van der Linden, D., Dunkel, C., Beaver, K., & Louwen, M. (2015). The unusual suspect: The general factor of personality (GFP), life history theory, and delinquent behavior. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 9(3), 145–160. doi:10.1037/ebs0000027