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Psychopathic Traits as Predictors of Future Criminality, Intimate Partner Aggression, and Substance Use in Young Adult Men

NCJ Number
Law and Human Behavior Volume: 39 Issue: 6 Dated: December 2015 Pages: 547-558
O. F. Colins; H. Andershed; D. A. Pardini
Date Published
December 2015
12 pages
This study examined the prospective relationship 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, andfor nowdoes 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. (Publisher abstract modified)