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.

Download full-text


Available from: Joseph P Newman, Jul 04, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Based on their 2011 meta-analysis of the correlates of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI), Miller and Lynam (An examination of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory's nomological network: A meta-analytic review, Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3, 305-326) conclude that its Fearless Dominance (PPI-FD) higher-order dimension exhibits weak construct validity, leading them to question the relevance of boldness to the conceptualization and assessment of psychopathy. We examine their assertions in light of the clinical, conceptual, and empirical literatures on psychopathy. We demonstrate that Miller and Lynam's assertions (a) are sharply at odds with evidence that well-validated psychopathy measures detect both secondary and primary subtypes, the latter of which is linked to social poise and immunity to psychological distress, (b) are inconsistent with most classic clinical descriptions of psychopathy, in which fearless dominance plays a key role, (c) presume an a priori nomological network of psychopathy that leaves scant room for adaptive functioning and renders psychopathy largely equivalent to antisocial personality disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (d) are premised on a misunderstanding of the role of Cleckley's "mask" of healthy adjustment in psychopathy, and (e) are contradicted by data-some reported elsewhere by Miller and Lynam themselves-that PPI-FD is moderately to highly associated with scores on several well-validated psychopathy measures, as well as with personality traits and laboratory markers classically associated with psychopathy. A scientific approach to psychopathy requires the question of whether its subdimensions are linked to adaptive functioning to be adjudicated by data, not by fiat.
    Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment 07/2012; 3(3):327-40. DOI:10.1037/a0026987 · 3.54 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In mammals, empathy is crucial for living in social groups and caring for others. In this paper, we consider the structural and functional organization of empathy. We propose that empathy subsumes a variety of neurobiological processes and partially dissociable information processing subsystems, each of which has a unique evolutionary history. Even the most advanced and flexible forms of empathy in humans are built on more basic forms and remain connected to core subcortical and neurohormonal mechanisms associated with affective communication, parental care and social attachment processes. Considering empathy within a framework that recognizes both the continuities and the changes within a phylogenetic perspective provides a richer understanding of empathy and related neurobehavioral processes.
    Progress in Neurobiology 05/2012; 98(1):38-48. DOI:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2012.05.001 · 10.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Certain types of violent offending are often accompanied by evidence of personality disorders (PDs), a range of heterogeneous conditions characterized by disinhibited behaviours that are generally described as impulsive. The tasks previously used to show impulsivity deficits experimentally (in borderline personality disorder, BPD) have required participants to inhibit previously rewarded responses. To date, no research has examined the inhibition of responding based on Pavlovian stimulus-stimulus contingencies, formally "conditioned inhibition" (CI), in PDs. The present study used a computer-based task to measure excitatory and inhibitory learning within the same CI procedure in offenders recruited from the "personality disorder" and the "dangerous and severe personality disorder" units of a high-security psychiatric hospital. These offenders showed a striking and statistically significant change in the expression of inhibitory learning in a highly controlled procedure: The contextual information provided by conditioned inhibitors had virtually no effect on their prepotent associations. Moreover, this difference was not obviously attributable to nonspecific cognitive or motivational factors. Impaired CI would reduce the ability to learn to control associative triggers and so could provide an explanation of some types of offending behaviour.
    Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006) 08/2011; 64(12):2334-51. DOI:10.1080/17470218.2011.616933 · 1.73 Impact Factor