Objectives: The relationship between traumatic experiences and antisocial personality disorder is well estabilished; the same cannot be said about the relationship between traumatic experiences and psychopathy (Hare, 1999). In fact, although several authors have suggested that the origin of psychopathic personality can be rooted in adverse relational experiences with caregivers during childhood (e.g. McWilliams, 2011), research on this issue appears to be inconclusive. The study analyzes the relationship between traumatic experiences and psychopathy in a subset of the Italian PCL-R validation sample (Caretti, Manzi, Schimmenti, & Seragusa, 2011) who answer questions on traumatic experiences; case studies will be also presented to elucidate such relationship. Method: The sample involved 121 Italian offenders (85% males) who were convicted for violent crimes. The sample was recruited in prisons and forensic psychiatic facilities. Age in this sample ranged from 23 to 71 (M42, SD10). Two measures were administered to the sample: (1) Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003). The PCL-R is a 20-item clinician-report measure to assess psychopathy and its related psychological and behavioral aspects. (2) Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC, Nijenhuis et al., 2002). The TEC is a 29-item selfreport measure used to assess a wide range of potential traumatic experiences from childhood to adulthood. Results: Partial correlations were used to analyze the associations between PCL-R scores and the TEC total scores, controlling for age. Traumatic experiences significantly correlated with PCL-R total scores (r0.34, pB0.001), Factor 1 scores (r0.18, pB0.05) and Factor 2 scores (r0.41, pB0.001). Regression analyses showed indeed that TEC scores were able to predict the PCL-R Total score (F(1,19)15.70, pB0.0001, R20.12). Discussion: Findings of the study show that traumatic experiences play a key role in the development of personality disorders; however, the stronger associations were found between traumatic experiences and the social deviance factor of the PCL-R (Factor 2). It is then possible that other variables (including genetic and temperamental ones) have a mediating role in linking traumatic experiences and the interpersonal and affective facets of psychopathy. Thus, case studies from the PCL-R interviews will be presented in order to illustrate some of the possible developmental pathways from traumatic experiences to psychopathy.

Trauma and psychopathy

SCHIMMENTI, ADRIANO;CRAPARO, GIUSEPPE;
2013

Abstract

Objectives: The relationship between traumatic experiences and antisocial personality disorder is well estabilished; the same cannot be said about the relationship between traumatic experiences and psychopathy (Hare, 1999). In fact, although several authors have suggested that the origin of psychopathic personality can be rooted in adverse relational experiences with caregivers during childhood (e.g. McWilliams, 2011), research on this issue appears to be inconclusive. The study analyzes the relationship between traumatic experiences and psychopathy in a subset of the Italian PCL-R validation sample (Caretti, Manzi, Schimmenti, & Seragusa, 2011) who answer questions on traumatic experiences; case studies will be also presented to elucidate such relationship. Method: The sample involved 121 Italian offenders (85% males) who were convicted for violent crimes. The sample was recruited in prisons and forensic psychiatic facilities. Age in this sample ranged from 23 to 71 (M42, SD10). Two measures were administered to the sample: (1) Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003). The PCL-R is a 20-item clinician-report measure to assess psychopathy and its related psychological and behavioral aspects. (2) Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC, Nijenhuis et al., 2002). The TEC is a 29-item selfreport measure used to assess a wide range of potential traumatic experiences from childhood to adulthood. Results: Partial correlations were used to analyze the associations between PCL-R scores and the TEC total scores, controlling for age. Traumatic experiences significantly correlated with PCL-R total scores (r0.34, pB0.001), Factor 1 scores (r0.18, pB0.05) and Factor 2 scores (r0.41, pB0.001). Regression analyses showed indeed that TEC scores were able to predict the PCL-R Total score (F(1,19)15.70, pB0.0001, R20.12). Discussion: Findings of the study show that traumatic experiences play a key role in the development of personality disorders; however, the stronger associations were found between traumatic experiences and the social deviance factor of the PCL-R (Factor 2). It is then possible that other variables (including genetic and temperamental ones) have a mediating role in linking traumatic experiences and the interpersonal and affective facets of psychopathy. Thus, case studies from the PCL-R interviews will be presented in order to illustrate some of the possible developmental pathways from traumatic experiences to psychopathy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/29925
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