Psychopathic Traits and Insecure Attachment Patterns in Community-based Subgroups

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There is a growing body of research on psychopathic traits in non-clinical populations. This emerging research has documented the prevalence of psychopathic traits in the general population and demonstrated that psychopathy has a similar latent structure as well as similar correlates (e.g., violent behavior, alcohol abuse, and lower intelligence) to forensic/offender samples. Relatedly, there is strong evidence insecure attachment patterns in adulthood are associated with many personality disorders, including psychopathy, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between attachment and psychopathic traits in non-clinical samples (albeit, convenience samples of college students). Thus, two aims of the current study ... continued below

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vi, 120 pages : color illustrations

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Carter, Rachel M. August 2014.

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  • Carter, Rachel M.

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There is a growing body of research on psychopathic traits in non-clinical populations. This emerging research has documented the prevalence of psychopathic traits in the general population and demonstrated that psychopathy has a similar latent structure as well as similar correlates (e.g., violent behavior, alcohol abuse, and lower intelligence) to forensic/offender samples. Relatedly, there is strong evidence insecure attachment patterns in adulthood are associated with many personality disorders, including psychopathy, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between attachment and psychopathic traits in non-clinical samples (albeit, convenience samples of college students). Thus, two aims of the current study are to: 1) describe and explore the manifestation and expression of psychopathic traits in a large, community-based sample and 2) examine associations between adult attachment disturbances and psychopathic traits in diverse sociodemographic subgroups. Using a cross-sectional design, results showed mean-level psychopathy factor score differences existed only when considering single sociodemographic factors (e.g., age), not an interaction of those factors. Psychopathy factor profiles were also consistent across groups, with higher levels of lifestyle followed by interpersonal, affective, and antisocial traits reported. Regarding the second aim, findings indicated support for the positive association between disturbed attachment patterns in adult relationships and psychopathic traits, although these associations differed in males and females of different age groups. Finally, there was some support for attachment processes acting as a social development pathway toward psychopathy, as insecure attachments in adulthood partially mediated the relationships between age and interpersonal, affective, and lifestyle traits of psychopathy.

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vi, 120 pages : color illustrations

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  • August 2014

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  • Aug. 21, 2015, 5:42 a.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 3:55 p.m.

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Carter, Rachel M. Psychopathic Traits and Insecure Attachment Patterns in Community-based Subgroups, thesis, August 2014; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699993/: accessed April 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .