The Adaptiveness of Antisocial Personality Traits: Obtaining Reputation, Resources, and Reproduction Through Bullying
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Adolescents may compete with each other for access to adaptive outcomes (e.g., social, material, and sexual resources) that have reliably led to survival and reproduction in the ancestral past. However, adolescents may have varying levels of success in securing adaptive outcomes depending on their personality. For instance, antisocial personality traits may provide adolescents with competitive advantages through the use of antisocial behaviours such as bullying. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate if adolescents with certain personality traits may use bullying to express those traits adaptively to gain favourable outcomes. A sample of 231 adolescents (113 males, Mage = 14.60, SD = 1.57) completed self-report questionnaires on personality, bullying involvement, social dominance, material resources, and sexual behaviour. Mediation analyses were conducted and offered mixed support for hypotheses. Bullying partially mediated the relation of Honesty-Humility and Agreeableness with social outcomes, although both personality factors also had direct effects on material outcomes and indirect effects on sexual outcomes through bullying. Furthermore, there were no significant partial mediations between Emotionality and any of the adaptive outcomes. Results provide support for the adaptive function of bullying and suggest that adolescents with lower Honesty-Humility and lower Agreeableness may increase the willingness to use bullying to obtain social and sexual goals.