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Latent profile analysis of psychopathic traits among homicide, general violent, property, and white-collar offenders

Boduszek, Daniel and Debowska, Agata and Willmott, Dominic (2017) Latent profile analysis of psychopathic traits among homicide, general violent, property, and white-collar offenders. Journal of Criminal Justice, 51. pp. 17-23. ISSN 0047-2352

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Abstract

Purpose The aim of this study was to identify meaningful subtypes of psychopathic traits among prisoners. Another aim was to estimate the association between psychopathy class membership and type of offending (homicide, general violent, property, and white-collar offences). Methods A systematically selected representative sample of 1126 adult male prisoners completed a personality-based self-report measure of psychopathy, the Psychopathic Personality Traits Scale (PPTS). Results Latent profile analysis revealed five distinct classes of psychopathic traits: a “high psychopathy group” (7.1%)”, a “moderate psychopathy group” (10.8%), a “high interpersonal manipulation group” (20.8%), a “moderate affective/cognitive responsiveness group” (16.8%), and a “low psychopathy group” (44.6%). Multinominal logistic regression showed that general violent offenders were most likely to belong in the high psychopathy group, whereas property and white-collar criminals were most likely to be the members of the high interpersonal manipulation group. Conclusions Findings suggest that most inmates, even those detained in maximum and medium security units, do not meet the diagnostic criteria for psychopathy. The significance of the present findings is discussed in relation to past and future research as well as clinical practice.

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