Psychopathic traits as predictors of future criminality, intimate partner aggression, and substance use in young adult men

Olivier F. Colins, Henrik Andershed, Dustin Pardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the prospective relation between Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI) scores and various negative outcomes in a community sample of young men. Official criminal records and self-reported outcomes, including criminality, physical and relational aggression against intimate partners, and excessive substance use, were obtained on average 5.4 years (records) and 3.5 years (self-reports) after the YPI assessment. Results showed that psychopathic traits measured with the YPI (approximately at age 25) did not significantly contribute to the prediction of future official criminal charges and self-reported crime, physical aggression against intimate partners, and excessive alcohol and marijuana use, after controlling for several covariates. However, results also showed that men with higher scores on the YPI were more likely to commit future acts of relational aggression against their partner, even after controlling for prior relational aggression. This novel finding needs replication, though, and - for now - does not jeopardize the overall conclusion that psychopathic traits as measured with the YPI hardly predict over and above prior criminality and aggression. Altogether, the findings of the present study and their consistency with past research suggest that one should rethink the role of psychopathy measures for risk assessment purposes, at least when these measures do not index prior criminality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-558
Number of pages12
JournalLaw and human behavior
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • antisocial
  • men
  • prediction
  • prospective
  • psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

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