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Head of The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context
Vol. 4. Num. 2. - 2012. Pages

Family and socio-demographic risk factors for psychopathy among prison inmates

[Family and socio-demographic risk factors for psychopathy among prison inmates]

Cirilo H. García; José Moral; Martha Frías; Juan A. Valdivia; and Héctor L. Díaz



Abstract

A field study was conducted with prison inmates to explore to what extent family and socio-demographic characteristics represent risk factors for psychopathy and delinquent behavior. A psychopathy scale derived from Hare’s Revised Psychopathy Checklist and an instrument containing questions related to family and socio-demographic characteristics were administered to 178 prison inmates. The psychopathy scale’s reliability (α = .92) and construct validity were established. A confirmatory factor analysis provided support for a model showing a negative association between psychopathy and age at which the person stopped living with his family of origin, age of first incarceration, severity of delinquent acts, length of prison sentence, and length of time spent in prison. (χ2/df = 1.40, FD = 1.34, PNI = 0.38, RMSEA =.04, IFI = .94, CFI = .94 and TLI = .93). Furthermore, the model sustained a positive association of psychopathy with income and frequency of incarceration. Level of education and age were eliminated from the model given that no significant associations were found among these variables and psychopathy. The validation of this model enables to interpret research findings in relation with attachment theory.

Resumen

A field study was conducted with prison inmates to explore to what extent family and socio-demographic characteristics represent risk factors for psychopathy and delinquent behavior. A psychopathy scale derived from Hare’s Revised Psychopathy Checklist and an instrument containing questions related to family and socio-demographic characteristics were administered to 178 prison inmates. The psychopathy scale’s reliability (α = .92) and construct validity were established. A confirmatory factor analysis provided support for a model showing a negative association between psychopathy and age at which the person stopped living with his family of origin, age of first incarceration, severity of delinquent acts, length of prison sentence, and length of time spent in prison. (χ2/df = 1.40, FD = 1.34, PNI = 0.38, RMSEA =.04, IFI = .94, CFI = .94 and TLI = .93). Furthermore, the model sustained a positive association of psychopathy with income and frequency of incarceration. Level of education and age were eliminated from the model given that no significant associations were found among these variables and psychopathy. The validation of this model enables to interpret research findings in relation with attachment theory.

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