Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher T. Barry

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Tammy D. Barry

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Randolph C. Arnau

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Dr. Jon T. Mandracchia

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Psychopathy, though frequently couched as a distinctive set of traits with violent and aggressive behavioral consequences (i.e., Hart, Kropp, & Hare, 1988; McCord & McCord, 1964; Millon & Davis, 1998), was presented in one of the original conceptualizations as a set of specific traits (i.e., emotional unresponsiveness and behavioral deviance) that could manifest as charm, confidence, and social dominance without resulting in criminality and aggression (Cleckley, 1941, 1988). More recently, Patrick, Fowles, and Krueger (2009) developed the Triarchic Conceptualization of psychopathy that differentiates underlying components of psychopathy into boldness, meanness, and disinhibition. The factor structure of the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure was analyzed in a sample of 259 college undergraduates, mostly aged 18-22 years old. Furthermore, this Patrick et al. (2009) conceptualization was originally proposed as a way to provide information on how psychopathic traits measured in adolescence may relate to indicators of adaptive functioning. Components of the Triarchic Conceptualization of Psychopathy and positive or negative outcomes were studied in a sample of 135 adolescents aged 16-19 years old and their parents. Overall, meanness and disinhibition were generally positively related to behavioral problems and negatively related to adaptive functioning, indicating that those traits contribute strongly to the negative outcomes generally associated with psychopathy. However, boldness was found to relate negatively with behavioral problems and positively with adaptive functioning indicating that boldness may function as a beneficial protective factor, even in the presence of other traits of psychopathy. The role of boldness as a psychopathic trait was discussed as well as the psychometric utility of the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure.

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