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Identifying associations between TCI personality dimensions and PCL-R psychopathy facets in young male offenders

Conference contribution
Authors Emma Bolund Lauenstein
Malin Hildebrand Karlén
Thomas Nilsson
Published in The International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH)
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Department of Psychology
Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Language en
Keywords Psychopathy, Personality nosology, Dimensional personality, Personality disorder, the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI).
Subject categories Psychiatry


Background: The psychopathy construct includes prominent maladaptive personality traits and behaviors. One of the most widely used instruments to asses this construct is the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). However, little empirical evidence exists regarding how this construct, according to PCL-R, can be understood in relation to theories of personality. Aim: To examine the relationships between components of psychopathy according to PCL-R, and personality dimensions as defined by Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Method: Young violent incarcerated offenders (n = 270) aged 18-25 years were assessed with both PCL R and TCI. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA), a multivariate analysis model, was used to obtain latent covariation between the four components of psychopathy from PCL-R and the seven personality dimensions of TCI to identify the variables that most strongly contributed to an association between these constructs. Results: The CCA resulted in two pairs of significant canonical variates (Rc2 = 0.32 and 0.17), where the full model was significant, Wilk’s λ = 0.51, F(28, 488.17) = 3.61, p < 0.001, indicating that a substantial proportion (i.e., 49 %) of the shared variance between PCL-R and TCI was explained. Overall the latent shared construct between TCI and PCL-R was construed of the temperament dimension Novelty seeking, and the character dimensions Self-directedness and Cooperativeness, and by the psychopathy facets Interpersonal, Lifestyle and Antisocial. Conclusion: Within the present sample, results suggest strong associations between TCI personality dimensions and psychopathy, indicating that psychopathy is possible to describe in more general personality terms. Moreover, the PCL-R psychopathy concept seemed to be more influenced by character than temperament dimensions, a finding important to investigate in future research since character have emerged as susceptible to influence by psychological interventions.

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