Journal article

Using the Psychopathic Personality Inventory to identify subtypes of antisocial personality disorder


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Publication Details

Author list: Douglas, Kevin S.

Publication year: 2013

Start page: 125

End page: 134

Number of pages: 10

ISSN: 0047-2352


View additional information: View in Web of Science


Purpose: Poythress, Edens, et al. (2010) recently used cluster analysis to identify subtypes of antisocial and psychopathic offenders using a diverse collection of theoretically important clustering variables. Two predicted subtypes, primary and secondary psychopathy, were identified, in addition to non-psychopathic and (unexpectedly) ""fearful"" psychopathic offenders. The purpose of the present research was to determine whether these clusters could be replicated using a single self-report measure, the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI; Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996). Method: Study 1: We used discriminant function analysis (DFA) to predict cluster membership for the Poythress et al. subtypes based solely on the eight subscales of the PPI. Results: Study 1: Though overall classification accuracy with the original clusters was poor, PPI-derived subtypes differed from each other in theoretically consistent ways on several criterion measures. Method: Study 2: We used the PPI-based DFA to classify a separate sample of prison inmates from a prior PPI study (Edens et al., 2008). Results: Study 2: As predicted, inmates classified into the secondary psychopathy subgroup demonstrated the highest rates of aggressive misconduct whereas non-psychopathic were the least prone to engage in misconduct. Conclusion: The PPI may serve as a relatively simple method of identifying theoretically meaningful subtypes of psychopathic offenders.


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