Dhingra, Katie, Boduszek, Daniel, Palmer, Derrol and Shevlin, Mark (2015) Psychopathy and Self-injurious Thoughts and Behaviour: Application of Latent Class Analysis. Journal of Mental Health, 24 (1). pp. 4-8. ISSN 0963-8237

Background: Although early conceptualisations posited an inverse relationship between psychopathy and self-injury, little research has tested this.

Aims: To examine the self-injurious thoughts and behaviour associated with psychopathy.

Method: Data from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Project (N = 871) were used to examine homogenous subtypes of participants based on their responses to six self-injury items. A binary logistic regression model was used to interpret the nature of the latent classes by estimating the associations with the four psychopathy factors, mixed anxiety-depression, violence victimisation, and gender.

Results: A 2-class solution provided the best fit to the data. Most participants (86.2%) were assigned to the baseline (‘low self-injury risk’) group. ‘The high-risk self-injury group’ was characterised by a higher probability of endorsing all self-injury items, particularly ‘thoughts of hurting self’ and ‘attempts to hurt self’. The four psychopathy factors showed differential associations with self-injury group membership. Participants scorings higher on the affective component and lower on interpersonal component of psychopathy, were significantly more likely to be assigned to the high risk group. Significant associations were also found between mixed anxiety/depression and gender, and ‘high-risk self-injury group’ membership.

Conclusions: These findings have important implications for the identification of individuals at risk of self-injury.

Dhingra_Boduszek__Palmer_Shevlin_(2014)_Psychopathy_Self-injury.pdf - Accepted Version

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