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Psychopathy Traits and Violent Assault Among Men With and Without History of Arrest
  • Published Date:

    July 25 2016

  • Source:
    J Interpers Violence. 34(12):2438-2457
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-357.21 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Interpers Violence
  • Description:
    Although research suggests that the antisocial behavior (ASB) facet of psychopathy generally carries the greatest predictive power for future violence, these findings are drawn primarily from forensic samples and may reflect criterion contamination between historical violence and future violence perpetration. Likewise, these findings do not negate the association of other psychopathy facets to violence or their role in the development of violence, nor do they offer practical utility in the primary prevention of violence. There are a number of empirical and theoretical reasons to suspect that the callous affect (CA) facet of psychopathy may demonstrate stronger statistical association to violence in nonforensic populations. We tested the association of CA to severe acts of violence (e.g., assault with intent to harm, injure, rape, or kill) among men with and without history of arrest ( N = 600) using both the three- and four-facet models of psychopathy. CA was robustly associated with violence outcomes across the two groups in the three-facet model. When testing the four-facet model, CA was strongly associated with violence outcomes among men with no history of arrest, but only moderately associated with assaults causing injury among men with history of arrest. These results are consistent with data from youth populations that implicate early emotional deficits in later aggressive behavior and suggest CA may help to identify individuals at risk for violence before they become violent. Implications for the public health system and the primary prevention of violence are discussed.
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