Identifying psychopathy subtypes on the basis of personality structure

Brian M. Hicks, Kristian E. Markon, Christopher J. Patrick, Robert F. Krueger, Joseph P. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors used model-based cluster analysis to identify subtypes of criminal psychopaths on the basis of differences in personality structure. Participants included 96 male prisoners diagnosed as psychopathic, using the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R; R. D. Hare, 1991). Personality was assessed using the brief form of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ-BF; C. J. Patrick, J. J. Curtin, & A. Tellegen, 2002). The best-fitting model yielded two clusters. Emotionally stable psychopaths were characterized by low Stress Reaction and high Agency. Aggressive psychopaths were characterized by high Negative Emotionality, low Constraint, and low Communion. These results suggest that psychopaths as defined by the PCL-R includes distinct subtypes, distinguishable in terms of personality structure, that may reflect different etiologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological assessment
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2004

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