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Association Between Psychopathic Personality Traits and Health-Related Outcomes

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 42 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2014 Pages: 399-407
Kevin M. Beaver; Joseph L. Nedelec; Christian da Silva Costa; Ana P. Poersch; Mônica C. Stelmach; Micheli C. Freddi; Jamie M. Gajos; Cashen Boccio
Date Published
October 2014
9 pages
This study examined whether psychopathic personality traits contribute to poor physical health.
The study found significant associations between psychopathic personality traits and some health outcomes. Higher scores on the psychopathic personality traits scale were associated with a significant reduction in general health and significant increases in chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and disease. Those with psychopathic traits were also more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. More research is needed on the link between personality traits and health problems in order to facilitate early intervention for those at higher risk for various health problems. Data for this study were obtained from the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health, which is a prospective study of a nationally representative sample of youth enrolled in over 80 different high schools. Data collection was conducted at four different time points during approximately 14 years. The study sample consisted of 20,745 youth at baseline and 15,701 at Wave 4 (young adulthood). Although Add Health does not have a vetted measure of psychopathy, it does include an inventory of the "Big 5" personality dimensions, which include items that can be used to measure psychopathic personality traits or tendencies. 4 tables, 3 figures, 72 references, and appended list of items included in the psychopathic personality traits