Effects of comorbid psychopathy on criminal offending and emotion processing in male offenders with antisocial personality disorder.

Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.86). 12/2006; 115(4):798-806. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.115.4.798
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and psychopathy are two syndromes with substantial construct validity. To clarify relations between these syndromes, the authors evaluated 3 possibilities: (a) that ASPD with psychopathy and ASPD without psychopathy reflect a common underlying pathophysiology; (b) that ASPD with psychopathy and ASPD without psychopathy identify 2 distinct syndromes, similar in some respects; and (c) that most correlates of ASPD reflect its comorbidity with psychopathy. Participants were 472 incarcerated European American men who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (4th ed., American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria for ASPD and Psychopathy Checklist criteria for psychopathy, who met the criteria for ASPD but not for psychopathy, or who did not meet diagnostic criteria for either ASPD or psychopathy (controls). Both individuals with ASPD only and those with ASPD and psychopathy were characterized by more criminal activity than were controls. In addition, ASPD with psychopathy was associated with more severe criminal behavior and weaker emotion facilitation than ASPD alone. Group differences in the association between emotion dysfunction and criminal behavior suggest tentatively that ASPD with and ASPD without prominent psychopathic features may be distinct syndromes.

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