Kan barn verkligen vara psykopater? : En kvalitativ studie om socialrbetares syn på barn med psykopatiska drag.
Sammanfattning: Can children really be psychopaths? – A qualitative study about social workers’ view on children with psychopathic traits. The purpose of this study was to investigate how children with psychopathic traits are presented by investigators and therapists in order to gain a greater understanding of the social and cultural opportunities and limitations to approaching the phenomenon of psychopathy in children. The method used was qualitative with semi structured interviews. The interviewees consisted of four social workers who work closely with children between the ages of 0-13 years, over longer periods of time in special care centers where they investigate and treat children. The empirical findings were analyzed through Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice, specifically the terms symbolic capital, doxa, habitus and the power of consecration. All interviewees are hesitant to designate children as psychopaths, but at the same time they identify difficulties in today's placements and treatments with children who they see have distinctive psychopathic traits. The interviewees have no answers to how to best treat children with psychopathic traits and they all agree that more knowledge is needed. The analysis shows that there may be a conflict between the social worker's habitus "to help" and a preconception of the psychopath as incurable in contrast to a malleable child. The interviewees see predominantly benefits in identifying children at risk of developing psychopathy at the earliest age possible. Previous research, together with the interviewees in this study, thus give a clear signal that their categories of perception and evaluation are open for transformation through the diagnostic system’s power of consecration, whereby in the future they might both see and address the actual needs of the children with psychopathic traits and respond to them based on these for adequate treatment.
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