Title

The Intersection of Sociodemographic Characteristics Within the Nomological Network of the Triarchic Psychopathy Model in a Forensic Sample

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2019

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Purpose

Systematic investigations into the interplay of sociodemographic factors in the relations of psychopathic traits to criminal behaviors, criminogenic, and treatment-related factors are underdeveloped, particularly concerning the triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy (Patrick, Fowles, & Krueger, 2009). The current study examined the potential moderating roles played by sociodemographic factors within the triarchic psychopathy framework in relation to criminal history and pertinent external correlates. Broadly, we anticipated stronger relations between psychopathic traits and external correlates for European-Americans compared with African-Americans, at lower levels of SES, and for males.

Methods

Using a forensic mental health clinic sample (n = 1058), primary hypotheses were evaluated by modeling interaction effects, estimated using 10,000 bootstraps in PROCESS v.2.16 (Hayes, 2013).

Results

Psychopathic traits largely manifested equivalent relations to external criteria across race, SES, and gender, with a few notable exceptions. For example, relations of psychopathic traits (Meanness, Disinhibition) to some legal history variables were unexpectedly more pronounced in African-Americans. However, the nuanced relations across psychopathic traits were consistent with theoretical conceptualizations of the triarchic framework.

Conclusions

In all, this study supports the use of the triarchic psychopathy framework within diverse samples in forensic settings, but some findings may additionally reflect well-established racial and social disparities in legal decision-making.

Publication Title

Journal of Criinal Justice

Volume

61

First Page

13

Last Page

25

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