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Personality disorders in rapists and murderers from a maximum security prison in Brazil

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... Parte dos estudos relativos à violência associa-se às alterações da personalidade e tem despertado um expressivo interesse de pesquisadores seja da psicologia ou psiquiatria em consequência aos vários problemas pessoais e sociais resultantes destes quadros (Rigonatti, Serafim, Caires, Vieira Filho & Arboleda-Florez 2006, Barros & Serafim, 2008Logan & Johnstone, 2010;Serafim, Barros, Castellana & Gorenstein, 2014). ...
... Quando os estudos enfocam a relação entre os transtornos da personalidade e crimes violentos, encontra--se uma elevada associação entre esse comportamento e indivíduos classificados como psicopatas (Rigonatti, Serafim, Caires, Vieira Filho & Arboleda-Florez, 2006;Walsh, Snoger & Kosson, 2009;Camp, Skeem, Barchard, Lilienfeld & Poythress, 2013;Serafim, Barros, Castellana & Gorenstein, 2014;Reidy, Lilienfeld, Berke, Gentile & Zeichner, 2016;Stupperich & Strack, 2016). ...
... Os dados aqui observados descrevem que estas pessoas são sedutores, podem se tornar agressivos e são manipuladores o que de certa forma vai ao encontro das descrições da literatura. Isso pode ser visto tanto no livro clássico The mask of sanity de Cleckey (1955), quanto em vários artigos da literatura (Rigonatti, Serafim, Caires, Vieira Filho & Arboleda-Florez, 2006;Walsh, Swogger & Kosson, 2009;Camp, Skeem, Barchard & Poythress, 2013;Serafim, Barros, Castellana & Gorenstein, 2014, Reidy, Lilienfeld, Berke, Gentile & Zeichner, 2016Stupperich & Strack, 2016). Para estes autores as principais características dos psicopatas são charme superficial, ausência de delírios e de outros sinais de pensamento irracional, ausência de nervosismo e de manifestações psiconeuróticas, falta de confiabilidade, deslealdade ou falta de sinceridade, falta de remorso ou pudor e tentativas de suicídio. ...
... Within the last decade, only a handful of studies have attempted to empirically explore the prevalence and dynamics of personality and/or paraphilia disorders among violent sexual offenders who killed and those who did not kill, independently (e.g., Beauregard, Deslauriers-Varin, & St-Yves, 2010;Briken, Habermann, Kafka, Berner, & Hill, 2006;Briken et al., 2010;Hill, Habermann, Berner, & Briken, 2007;Rigonatti, de Padua Serafim, de Freitas Caires, Guerra Vieira Filho, & Arboleda-Florez, 2006). To our knowledge, only two studies have looked specifically at differences and similarities between homicidal sexual offenders (HSOs) and nonhomicidal sexual offenders (NHSOs; Koch et al., 2011;Proulx & Sauvetre, 2007). ...
... Specifically, the prevalence of PDs in the criminal offender population has been estimated to be between one third and two third of the forensic population (Berger, Berner, Bolterauer, Guitierrez, & Berger, 1999;Berner, Berger, Guitierrez, Jordan, & Berger, 1992). Studies show that schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, and narcissistic PDs are frequently identified among sexual offenders, contributing to the disinhibition of their behavior (Leue et al., 2004;Rigonatti et al., 2006). Other PDs such as avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive, and passiveaggressive PDs have also been found in sexual offender population (Cohen & Galynker, 2002;McElroy et al., 1999). ...
... Rigonatti et al. 14 focused on the prevalence of personality disorder in criminals convicted for murder or rape who were serving sentences in a maximum security prison. The results pointed to a high incidence of personality disorder in both groups studied. ...
... In terms of psychopathology, though many studies have reported strong correlation between personality disorders and crime, this association requires broader and more in--depth studies in order to be relevant 14 zophrenia, per example, in violent behavior is a point widely discussed in the forensic literature 19,20 . Some authors believe that psychotic symptoms such as delusion of persecution and auditory hallucinations, account for approximately 45% of cases of violence perpetrated by this patient group [17][18][19][20] . ...
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aBStraCt objective: To evaluate the prevalence of mental disorders in convicted sex offenders admitted to the Psychiatric Custody and Treatment Hospital (Forensic Psychiatric Facility). Method: 89 patient records of males admitted from March 2005 to August 2006 were analyzed. The analysis included evaluation of two study groups: Group I comprised subjects who had committed sex offenses (sexual offenders) while Group II contained subjects convicted for other crimes (non-se-xual offenders). Variables studied were: age bracket, years of schooling, marital status, skin color, place of birth, previous psychiatric admissions and psychiatric diagnosis. results: Mental retar-dation and personality disorders were the mainly diagnoses in Group I (sexual offenders) (61,76% and 29,41% respectively). In the other hand, schizophrenic subjects predominated in Group II (non-sexual offenders) (82,93%). Conclusion: Different from international data, we have found low prevalence of personality disorders among Brazilian forensic population and we believe that it's due to a distinguishing characteristic of the Brazilian legal system, which does not consider personality disorder a mental disease, thus, not prompting these patients to civil commitment.
... Rigonatti et al. 14 focused on the prevalence of personality disorder in criminals convicted for murder or rape who were serving sentences in a maximum security prison. The results pointed to a high incidence of personality disorder in both groups studied. ...
... In terms of psychopathology, though many studies have reported strong correlation between personality disorders and crime, this association requires broader and more in--depth studies in order to be relevant 14 zophrenia, per example, in violent behavior is a point widely discussed in the forensic literature 19,20 . Some authors believe that psychotic symptoms such as delusion of persecution and auditory hallucinations, account for approximately 45% of cases of violence perpetrated by this patient group [17][18][19][20] . ...
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Full-text available
Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of mental disorders in convicted sex offenders admitted to the Psychiatric Custody and Treatment Hospital (Forensic Psychiatric Facility). Method: 89 patient records of males admitted from March 2005 to August 2006 were analyzed. The analysis included evaluation of two study groups: Group I comprised subjects who had committed sex offenses (sexual offenders) while Group II contained subjects convicted for other crimes (non-sexual offenders). Variables studied were: age bracket, years of schooling, marital status, skin color, place of birth, previous psychiatric admissions and psychiatric diagnosis. results: Mental retardation and personality disorders were the mainly diagnoses in Group I (sexual offenders) (61,76% and 29,41% respectively). In the other hand, schizophrenic subjects predominated in Group II (non-sexual offenders) (82,93%). Conclusion: Different from international data, we have found low prevalence of personality disorders among Brazilian forensic population and we believe that it's due to a distinguishing characteristic of the Brazilian legal system, which does not consider personality disorder a mental disease, thus, not prompting these patients to civil commitment.
... Rigonatti et al. 14 focused on the prevalence of personality disorder in criminals convicted for murder or rape who were serving sentences in a maximum security prison. The results pointed to a high incidence of personality disorder in both groups studied. ...
... In terms of psychopathology, though many studies have reported strong correlation between personality disorders and crime, this association requires broader and more in--depth studies in order to be relevant 14 zophrenia, per example, in violent behavior is a point widely discussed in the forensic literature 19,20 . Some authors believe that psychotic symptoms such as delusion of persecution and auditory hallucinations, account for approximately 45% of cases of violence perpetrated by this patient group [17][18][19][20] . ...
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Several studies report that incarcerated young offenders show a high rate of psychiatric disorders whereas associations between specific psychiatric disorders and recidivism remain unknown. The Brazilian legal system has created a unique opportunity for the study of this issue when consider young offenders not that guilty in spite of the severity of the crime, settling in three years the maximum period of incarceration. This study aims to determine the rate of psychiatric disorders in a cohort of incarcerated young offenders and evaluate the possible psychiatric connections of primary offenders and recidivism. A group of 898 incarcerated young offenders at Fundacao Casa answered psychiatric interviews and was diagnosed according to the criteria of ICD-10. Statistic connections were analyzed using the tests of Pearson and Cramer. The cohort was comprised of 619 primaries and 267 recidivists. 'Psychoactive Substance Use' and 'Disorders of Adult Personality and Behavior' categories were related to recidivism, whereas 'Organic Mental Disorders', 'Mood Disorders', and 'Stress-related Disorders' were related to primary offenders. Discriminating disorders were the most likely to represent reactions to primary incarceration. In relation to associations that might represent predictors of crime, it became highly suggestive that substance abuse is the main cause of incarceration for the entire cohort.
... Skepticism, hypersensitivity, and stress-laden conditions of people with Paranoid Personality Disorder keep them angry and counterattack. They can be involved in crime through physical or verbal aggression [27]. In the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is in pursuit of success and appreciation, when the malign features are evident, sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes can be seen more. ...
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Most criminology theories and criminologists explain questions such as “why do some people deviate from legal and social norms?” or “why do people commit crimes?” at the factual level. Criminology does not only treat crime as a set of actions or inaction defined within the legal parameters. Understanding what lies beneath the cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of the criminal act is highly dependent on the information available about the nature of the illegal act and the criminal. Criminal law also needs a broader perspective because of this need. In that sense, to understand the individual and socio-psychological aspects of crimes, it is vital to understand the details of current crimes and their perpetrators. For the perpetrator to be held accountable for their criminal act or inaction; they must have committed the said crime deliberately, knowing the consequences of their actions, must be aware that they will be punished as a result, and must have the ability to control their impulses. It is the basis of the law approach that individuals cannot be held responsible for their actions and cannot be punished if they cannot control their behavior. The perpetrator’s mental health at the time of the criminal act is evaluated by mental health professionals. While there is no relationship between the majority of people with mental disorders and criminal behavior, it can be said that certain disorders may be a risk factor in some criminal acts. However, even if a relationship can be established between some mental disorders and the criminal acts, it should also be investigated how this relationship was indirectly affected by variables such as low socioeconomic status, previous arrest records, or substance abuse. Therefore, it should be noted that mental disorders that affect perpetrators do not lead them to criminal acts.
... Even though these results seem to according with those of Gruzinov-Milovanovid (1991) that substance use was not a dominant driver for the commission of rape, several other studies (see e.g. Rada, 1975;Vinogradov, Dishotsky, Doty and Tinklenberg, 1988) have reported a significant correlation between substance use and rape (Rigonatti, Serafim, Caires, Filho, and Florez, 2006). ...
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This article examines the issue of rape offender profiling by describing the characteristics of rape offenders and several typologies of rapists. It provides a brief overview of the research results on rape offenders in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to understand some of their general characteristics. The data for this research were drawn from several courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where 77 rape records were evaluated. The overall findings suggest that the identified characteristics of rape offenders in Bosnia and Herzegovina are both similar and different than ones reported in other rape offender studies. It concludes, however, that most rapists in Bosnia and Herzegovina are men in their early adulthood, unmarried and unemployed and that the majority of them are normal in aspects other than their offenses. Although the sample is not necessarily representative, it is illustrative and indicative.
... La plupart des études internationales confirment ces données (Coté et Hodgins, 1990 ;Teplin, 1994 ;Naidoo et Mkize, 2012). L'étude de Rigonatti et al. (2006) constate même que 96 % des détenus homicidaires et 92 % des violeurs de leur échantillon correspondent au diagnostic de trouble de la personnalité antisociale. Notre hypothèse est de penser que si l'on soustrait d'autres diagnostics comme les sujets toxicomanes, les sujets psychotiques et autres troubles de la personnalité, nous ne sommes pas loin de « recouvrir » l'ensemble des sujets incarcérés et délinquants. ...
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‘Antisocial personality’, an antithesis of psychopathology The paper offers a critical and clinical examination of the concept of ‘antisocial personality, often used in the field of psychiatrical nosology and psychopathological practices in criminology and forensic sciences. Our reflection begins with a genealogy of the concept in various versions of psychiatric classifications, in particular the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The lack of sociological reasoning in a concept which refers to the ‘social’, and its historical development is discussed. It is then demonstrated that this idea can be seen as the antithesis of a psychopathological perspective, which should be dynamic, comprehensive and phenomenological.
... If a score of 26 or below on the MMSE is used as a cut-off, a much higher figure of 13% is found. Though the MMSE has been used in a number of prison studies (Rigonatti et al., 2006;Grill et al., 2007), it is not clear if it is a valid measure in prison and underprivileged populations, and what cut-off scores should be used. There is research evidence that long-term imprisonment itself leads to cognitive impairment (Lapornik et al., 1996), and clinical experience suggests that many prisoners transferred from prison to hospital with a putative diagnosis of dementia show an increase in MMSE score in the first few months. ...
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The aging population in prison is growing rapidly in the United Kingdom. This trend is also found in other countries worldwide. As this population increases prison authorities will need to adjust the custody process to accommodate increasing mental and physical frailty. This study examined the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and physical disorders, including dementia, in prisoners aged 50 years and over from four prisons in and around Staffordshire to see whether detection and treatment rates have improved over the past decade during which there has been a dramatic increase in the number of older prisoners. Subjects were assessed using the Geriatric Mental State Examination, the Mini-Mental State Examination and Short Form 12 and their prison records. Sixty prisoners (50%) had a diagnosable mental disorder, with depression being most common, and 15 (12%) prisoners had signs of cognitive impairment. Only 18% of those with a psychiatric diagnosis were prescribed medication from the appropriate class. Physical problems were also common in this population with an average self-report of 2.26 problems per prisoner. Mental disorders in older prisoners are common, but despite recent training initiatives they often go undetected and untreated. Prisoners themselves accurately self-report mental disorder, but the best way of detecting dementia in the prison population remains unclear. The psychological and physical health of this prison population was poorer than that of their community-based peers.
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Several studies have provided strong evidence that personality disorders (PD) represent a significant clinical risk for violence. This review has aimed to examine the relationship of greater risk for violence among persons with certain PD in terms of four fundamental personality dimensions: 1) impulse control; 2) affect regulation; 3) threatened egotism or narcissism; and 4) paranoid cognitive personality style. Two of these dimensions -impulse control and affect regulation- are probably substantially affected by virtually all PDs linked to violence. Narcissism or threatened egotism and paranoid cognitive personality style have also been empirically linked to violence and mental disorder. PD symptoms have proven to be even stronger predictors of violence than the PDs per se. In fact, increased symptoms of DSM-IV cluster A or cluster B PD, such as paranoid, narcissistic and antisocial PD symptoms, correlate significantly with violence. Finally, there are three important principles about the relationship between PDs and violence: 1) PDs are rarely egosyntonic; 2) most patients and violent situations that come to clinical attention involve comorbid conditions; and 3) violence and risk of violence are often associated with substance abuse. Implications of this review for further research are discussed.
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Objective: To compare the emotional response and level of anxiety of psychopathic murderers, non-psychopathic murderers, and non-psychopathic non-criminals. Method: 110 male individuals aged over 18 years were divided into three groups: psychopathic murderers (n = 38); non-psychopathic murderers (n = 37) serving sentences for murder convictions in Maximum Security Prisons in the State of Sao Paulo; and non-criminal, non-psychopathic individuals (n = 35) according to the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. The emotional response of subjects was assessed by heart rate variation and anxiety level (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) after viewing standardized pictures depicting pleasant, unpleasant and neutral content from the International Affective Picture System. Results: Psychopathic murderers presented lower anxiety levels and smaller heart rate variations when exposed to pleasant and unpleasant stimuli than non-psychopathic murderers or non-psychopathic non-criminals. The results also demonstrated that the higher the score for factor 1 on the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, the lower the heart rate variation and anxiety level. Conclusion: The results suggest that psychopathic murderers do not present variation in emotional response to different visual stimuli. Although the non-psychopathic murderers had committed the same type of crime as the psychopathic murderers, the former tended to respond with a higher level of anxiety and heart rate variation.
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This study aims to examine the psychopathological profile of non-homicidal sexual offenders (NHSOs) and homicidal sexual offenders (HSOs). Using an incarcerated sample of 96 NHSOs and 74 HSOs in a federal penitentiary in Canada, these offenders are compared in terms of their offending process, maladaptive personality traits, and paraphilic behaviors. A number of cross-tabular and sequential logistic regression analyses are performed. Relative to their counterpart, findings indicate that a higher percentage of HSOs select a victim of choice, report deviant sexual fantasies, mutilate their victim, and admit to their offense upon apprehension, whereas a higher percentage of NHSOs select victims with distinctive characteristics. In addition, a higher percentage of HSOs manifest paranoid, schizotypal, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, and impulsive personality traits, and overall odd and eccentric personality traits compared with NHSOs. Similarly, a higher percentage of HSOs engage in exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, homosexual pedophilia, sexual masochism, and partialism compared with NHSO. These findings are discussed with their implications for offender profiling. © The Author(s) 2015.
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IQs of violent sexual offenders (rapists) were compared to those of alleged nonviolent sexual offenders, nonsexual violent offenders, and nonsexual nonviolent offenders. Data were gathered from defendants referred to the medical coauthor for pretrial psychiatric evaluation. Rapists scored lower in the IQ test, but this difference did not appear to be significant in the pairwise X2 comparisons. This held true after controlling for the race of the defendant.
Article
Accounts from both offenders and victims of what occurs during a rape suggest that issues of power, anger, and sexuality are important in understanding the rapist's behavior. All three issues seem to operate in every rape, but the proportion varies and one issue seems to dominate in each instance. The authors ranked accounts from 133 offenders and 92 victims for the dominant issue and found that the offenses could be categorized as power rape (sexuality used primarily to express power) or anger rape (use of sexuality to express anger). There were no rapes in which sex was the dominant issue; sexuality was always in the service of other, nonsexual needs.
Article
Data collected from detailed autobiographies of 77 convicted rapists revealed that 50 percent of them were drinking at the time of the rape and that 35 percent were alcoholics. This strong association between alcoholism and forcible rape highlights the importance of follow-up treatment programs for the alcoholic sex offender; such programs should focus on adequate control of his drinking behavior as well as on his sexual adjustment.
Article
One of the variables that influences victim trauma in rape attacks is the relationship between assailant and victim (Ellis, 1981). Rapes by strangers have been shown to involve more violence and trauma (Katz and Mazur, 1979). Rapes by acquaintances may involve a betrayal of trust. The study compares 21 rape attacks where the assailant was known to the victim with 30 attacks where the assailant was a stranger. Three main elements of each assault are described: the contextual nature of the rape encounter, the assault characteristics (force, injuries, nature of sexual activity) and the post-rape behaviour. Significant differences were found between the two groups in each of these respects. Contact between rapist and victim took place in a social setting immediately prior to the assault in significantly more of the acquaintance rapes. Significantly more of the stranger rapes involved the display of a weapon. Coercive reciprocation of sexual activity occurred in proportionately more of stranger rapes. The role of verbal aggression was more prominent in acquaintance rapes. Significantly more of the acquaintance rapists (95% as opposed to 17%) interacted with the victim after the overtly sexual part of the attack. Two types of behaviour were displayed in almost equal proportions. Conciliatory/non-threatening behaviour consistent with a distorted affirmation of a person-orientated relationship with the victim was displayed by 43% of these assailants; 48% displayed threatening behaviour. We believe that stranger and acquaintance rapes can be clearly differentiated in terms of the behavioural dimensions of the assault. An understanding of such differences has implications for professionals involved in the assessment and treatment of sexual offenders and their victims.
Article
A study of 67 rapes by 63 California adolescents has yielded a highly representative composite picture of the typical rape episode by a juvenile assailant. Previously unexplored behavior patterns have emerged, including prior drug use, impulsivity, and lack of victim provocation. These findings have practical implications for clinicians treating rape victims and for the rehabilitation of adolescent rapists.
Article
This article describes the "rape myth" and tests hypotheses derived from social psychological and feminist theory that acceptance of rape myths can be predicted from attitudes such as sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, sexual conservatism, and acceptance of interpersonal violence. Personality characteristics, background characteristics, and personal exposure to rape, rape victims, and rapists are other factors used in predictions. Results from regression analysis of interview data indicate that the higher the sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, and acceptance of interpersonal violence, the greater a respondent's acceptance of rape myths. In addition, younger and better educated people reveal less stereotypic, adversarial, and proviolence attitudes and less rape myth acceptance. Discussion focuses on the implications of these results for understanding and changing this cultural orientation toward sexual assault.
Article
To assess the influence of age and education on cognitive performance in our population, 530 adults were interviewed using the MMSE (Mini-Mental Status Examination). Education level, classified as illiterate, elementary and middle (< 8 years) and high (> 8 years), was a significant predictor of performance (p < 0.0001). Nevertheless, the total scores were not significantly different among the age-groups, young (< or = 50 years), middle age 51 to 64 years) and elderly (> or = 65 years). The reference cut-off values were taken from the fifth percent lowest score for each group: illiterate, 13; elementary and middle, 18; and high, 26. When compared to 94 patients with cognitive impairment, our cut-off values achieved high sensitivity (82.4% for illiterates; 75.6% for elementary and middle; 80% for high) and specificity (97.5% for illiterate; 96.6% for elementary and middle; 95.6% for high educational level). Education-specific reference values for the MMSE are necessary in interpreting individual test results in populations of low educational level, in order to reduce the false positive results.
Article
There has been a great deal of debate about the dangers psychiatric patients pose to the general population. Recent studies appear to confirm a moderate but reliable association between mental illness and violence. The nature of this association, however, is unresolved. Considerable evidence suggests that much of the violent behavior observed in the mentally ill is not random but is motivated and directed by psychotic symptoms. In many cases, the behavior appears to be a predictable and in some ways rational response to irrational beliefs (delusions) and perceptions (hallucinations). The content and themes of a psychotic patient's delusion or hallucination often imply a specific course of violent action. Unlike studies of associations between violence and broad categories of subject characteristics (e.g., mental illness), an analysis of the association between violence and the content and themes of psychotic symptoms could be much more informative. Conceivably, such an analysis could identify not only psychiatric patients at risk for committing violence but also those individuals who are at risk for becoming targets of their violence.
Article
The present study examines the nexus between alcohol and violent crime by specifying alcohol as a moderating variable that may interact with other major causes of violent crime. Four major causes of violent crime at the individual level are identified: deviant motives or attitudes, aggression and hostility, impulsivity, and problem-solving ability. Analyses are conducted at two levels of aggravated assault: prevalence of assault and frequency of assault. At the level of prevalence of assault, data indicate that the usual drinking pattern does not constitute an independent cause, but has significant interactions with two of the major causes: deviant attitudes and aggression and hostility. However, in the analysis of the frequency of assault, the findings indicate a pattern that both usual drinking pattern and drinking before offending have independent explanatory power for aggravated assault, but no interactions were found. These findings suggest that alcohol may have different roles in explaining different levels of violent offending.
Article
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) and PCL-R psychopathy are critically examined regarding their application to sentencing determinations. PCL-R psychopathy is emerging in the literature as a more useful forensic diagnostic construct than APD, which appears flawed by multiple weaknesses. These include shifting diagnostic criteria, innumeracy problems, absence of symptom weighting, temporal instability, and the equivalence of some symptoms with substance abuse disorders. Additionally, APD overdiagnosis may result from inattention to issues of social context, trauma history, and symptom pervasiveness. Neither objective nor projective personality testing reliably differentiates APD. Finally, an APD diagnosis does not always indicate criminal, much less incorrigible criminal behavior. By contrast, PCL-R psychopathy results are strongly predictive of criminal behavior and violent recidivism for Caucasian males through mid-life residing in the community. Emerging research with the PCL-R regarding other important populations and contexts is promising but generalization is currently limited.
Article
The background of the present study is a general uncertainty as to what comprises the essence of hysterical (histrionic) personality disorder. Using phenomenological methodology, phenomena observable in the 'classic' hysterical personality are analysed, described, named, and classified according to the basic functions of human experience and behaviour. The resulting psychopathological picture of the hysterical personality facilitates a differential diagnosis that is often decidedly difficult. The phenomenon of dissociation of the mental processes is demonstrated for the various basic functions. A specific feature of the disorder is shown which generates a dissociation of contents of the personality along a conscious-preconscious-unconscious continuum. It is concluded that dissocation is, in the final analysis, the prerequisite for a compromised and partial acting out of prohibited non-integrated elements, e.g. aggression, as a coping strategy.
Article
A total of 178 Danish male remand prisoners were examined using comprehensive interviews and questionnaires on psychopathological, personality and social measures, and file data. These data were compared with scores on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R). Subjects were divided into four groups according to quartile PCL-R scores. In general there were high rates of psychiatric morbidity in all PCL-R quartile groups. The medium-high scorers represent a more vulnerable group with a high prevalence of dependence disorders, relatively high neuroticism score and relatively high prevalence of neurotic and stress-related disorders. The high scorers were more psychosocially maladjusted, had more often made previous suicidal attempts, and had a higher psychoticism score. Chronic psychotic disorders did occur, mostly in the high-scoring group. The population had lower scores on the PCL-R than in most previous studies, suggesting a lower prevalence of psychopathic features among Danish criminals and possibly a lower cut-off point when using the PCL-R as a categorical measure. Both findings are consistent with the results of other European studies. Further studies on cross-cultural differences with regard to PCL-R psychopathic features and on psychic vulnerability related to PCL-R scores and factor 1/factor 2 of the PCL-R are suggested.
Article
Tragic and high profile killings by people with mental illness have been used to suggest that the community care model for mental health services has failed. To consider whether such homicides have become more frequent as psychiatric services have changed. Data were extracted from Home Office-generated criminal statistics for England and Wales between 1957 and 1995 and subjected to trends analysis. There was little fluctuation in numbers of people with a mental illness committing criminal homicide over the 38 years studied, and a 3% annual decline in their contribution to the official statistics. There are many reasons for improving the resources and quality of care for people with a mental disorder, but there is no evidence that it is anything but stigmatising to claim that their living in the community is a dangerous experiment that should be reversed. There appears to be some case for specially focused improvement of services for people with a personality disorder and/or substance misuse.
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