Self-report psychopathy in an Australian community sample

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Journal Article

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Watt, B.D., & Brooks, N. (2012). Self-report psychopathy in an Australian community sample. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 19 (3), 359-401.

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 170109

@ Copyright The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 2012




Psychopathy has long been identified as a central personality correlate of criminal and violent behaviour yet remains relatively unexplored in Australia. The present study utilised the recently developed Self-Report Psychopathy Scale – III (SRP-III) with an Australian community sample (N= 327). As expected, males reported higher levels of psychopathy across the four SRP-III facets, callous-affect (CA), interpersonally manipulative (IPM), erratic life-style (ELS) and criminal tendencies (CT). Psychopathy was associated with lower levels of empathy (especially CA), higher alcohol use (ELS, CT), pro-violence thoughts (IPM, CA) and elevated depression, anxiety and stress (IPM, ELS). Each facet was found to enhance the statistical prediction of physical aggression, beyond age, gender, social desirability and violent thoughts. The SRP-III is a potentially useful instrument for measuring psychopathic characteristics when comprehensive documentation is not available.

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This document has been peer reviewed.