The usefulness of psychopathy in explaining and predicting violence: Discussing the utility of competing perspectives

Publication date: Available online 12 July 2018Source: Aggression and Violent BehaviorAuthor(s): Henriette Bergstrøm, Simon R. Larmour, David P. FarringtonAbstractThe current study is a review of the utility of psychopathy in violence risk assessment. Psychopathy has long been considered one of the most important factors when assessing the risk for future violence in forensic samples. Concerns about tautology have however indicated a need to critically assess the utility of psychopathy measures in risk assessment. We argue that the focus should be as much on the psychopathic personality in the explanation of violent behavior as on the psychopathic personality in the prediction of violent behavior. The main aim of this article is to contrast and discuss the utility of two different ways of conceptualizing and measuring the psychopathic personality, namely through the PCL scales and the CAPP. Existing evidence suggests that the CAPP and PCL are comparably strong predictors of violent behavior, but the CAPP is more dynamic (compared with the static PCL) and aims to measure psychopathic personality rather than past behavior. It is proposed that the CAPP is more useful in explaining violence and should be utilized more in future risk assessments for violence. Implications for future practice are discussed.
Source: Aggression and Violent Behavior - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research

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