The body as a reflection of relations with others
More details
Hide details
University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2021-05-16
Final revision date: 2021-12-11
Acceptance date: 2021-12-12
Online publication date: 2022-02-08
Corporeality is an important element of the self structure. Tattoos have been associated with self-esteem, identity diffusion, and aggression.

Material and methods:
Convicted modified (n = 78; 78.8%) and non-modified men (n = 21; 21.2%) completed the following research tools: the Aggression Severity Scale from the Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO), the Group Identification Scale, the Identity Fusion Scale, a measure of identity fusion, and an agency scale.

Body modifications were a weak predictor (5%) of aggression intensity among male prisoners. About 20% of the study participants, regardless of having a body modification, presented aggression characterized by severe personality pathology.

Nowadays, body modifications should not be treated as an indicator of severe psychopathology and more aggressive relations with others, including among convicted men. In prisoners who presented high levels of aggression, identity diffusion was observed and treated as a form of adaptation, characteristic for borderline personality integration.

Besta, T., Gómez, Á., & Vázquez, A. (2014). Readiness to deny group’s wrongdoing and willingness to fight for its members: The role of the Poles’ identity fusion with the country and religious group. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 2, 49‒55.
Cierpiałkowska, L., Groth, J., & Kleka, P. (2018). Level of personality integration in psychopathy. Psychiatria Polska, 52, 55–67.
Coe, R. (2002). It’s the effect size, stupid. What effect size is and why it is important. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Exeter, September 12-14, 2002.
Drnas, M., Bratko, D., & Pocrnić, M. (2020). Multidimensional measure of aggression in adolescents: Croatian validation of the Peer Conflict Scale. Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 8, 61–72.
Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A. G., & Buchner, A. (2007). G* Power 3: a flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191.
Friedman, R., Antoine, D., Talamo, S., Reimer, P. J., Taylor, J. H., Wills, B., & Mannino, M. A. (2018). Natural mummies from Predynastic Egypt reveal the world’s earliest figural tattoos. Journal of Archaeological Science, 92, 116–125.
Gilbert, P., Price, J., & Allan, S. (1995). Social comparison, social attractiveness and evolution: How might they be related? New Ideas in Psychology, 13, 149–165.
Giles-Gorniak, A. N., Vandehey, M. A., & Stiles, B. L. (2016). Understanding differences in mental health history and behavioral choices in a community sample of individuals with and without body modifications. Deviant Behavior, 37, 852–860.
Gómez, Á., López-Rodríguez, L., Sheikh, H., Ginges, J., Wilson, L., Waziri, H., Vázquez, A., Davis, R., & Atran, S. (2017). The devoted actor’s will to fight and the spiritual dimension of human conflict. Nature Human Behaviour, 1, 673–679.
Haas, J. (Ed.) (1990). The anthropology of war. Cambridge University Press.
Izdebska, A., & Pastwa-Wojciechowska, B. (2013). Personality organization and its measurement – polish adaptation of IPO by Kernberg and colleagues. Czasopismo Psychologiczne, 19, 17–27.
Jaśkiewicz, M., & Besta, T. (2014). Is easy access related to better life? Walkability and overlapping of personal and communal identity as predictors of quality of life. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9, 505–516.
Kernberg, O. F., & Caligor, E. (2005). A psychoanalytic theory of personality disorders. In M. F. Lenzenweger & J. F. Clarkin (Eds.), Major theories of personality disorder (pp. 114–156). Guilford Press.
Neitzel, S., & Welzer, H. (2012). Soldiers: German POWs on fighting, killing, and dying. Vintage Books.
Stanescu, D. F., & Romascanu, M. C. (2020). Are tattooing indicators of dark personalities? An analysis of body modification within the framework of Dark Triad of personality. Journal of Social and Development Sciences, 11, 7–14.
Swami, V. (2011). Marked for life? A prospective study of tattoos on appearance anxiety and dissatisfaction, perceptions of uniqueness, and self-esteem. Body Image, 8, 237–244.
Swami, V. (2012). Written on the body? Individual differences between British adults who do and do not obtain a first tattoo. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 53, 407–412.
Swann, W. B. Jr., Gómez, A., Seyle, D. C., Morales, J., & Huici, C. (2009). Identity fusion: The interplay of personal and social identities in extreme group behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 995–1011.
Vizgaitis, A. L., & Lenzenweger, M. F. (2019). Pierced identities: Body modification, borderline personality features, identity, and self-concept disturbances. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 10, 154–162.
Zrno, M., Frencl, M., Degmecic, D., & Pozgain, I. (2015). Emotional profile and risk behaviours among tattooed and non-tattooed students. Medicinski Glasnik, 12, 93–98.