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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1899

Title: Psychopathy as a predictor of instrumental violence among civil psychiatric patients
Authors: Hodges, Heath Judson
Keywords: Clinical Psychology;Violence--Psychological aspects;Psychopaths
Issue Date: 20-Nov-2007
Abstract: This study investigated the relationship between psychopathy and instrumental violence committed by psychiatric patients in the community. Psychopathy is a personality syndrome characterized by affective dysregulation, interpersonal deceitfulness, an irresponsible lifestyle, and social deviance. Instrumental violence is a form of violent behavior that is goal-directed and occurs in the absence of emotional arousal and without provocation. Higher scores on both the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL: SV) and a three-factor model of this measure indicated a greater likelihood that a participant would be instrumentally violent. However, neither model was more effective than the other in prediction. When examined more specifically, the Antisocial Behavior factor of the PCL: SV (Factor I) was the most influential of all the factors across both models in instrumental violence risk assessment. When examining victim type in instrumental incidents, strangers (compared to non-strangers) were not the most common target. This study advances previous research on instrumental violence and psychopathy in three ways. First, no study thus far has examined this relationship among civil psychiatric patients. Second, none of the studies to date have exceeded sample sizes of 400; the present study considered a much larger sample (N = 871). Third, despite the application of different measures of psychopathy, the current literature has not yet compared different models to gauge their relative predictive value for instrumental violence.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1899
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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