The childhood-onset neuropsychiatric background to adulthood psychopathic traits and personality disorders

Henrik Anckarsäter, Thomas Nilsson, Anna-Kari Sjodin, Anita Carlstedt, Anders Forsman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Childhood conduct disorder (CD) and adult psychopathic traits according to the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) were the closest psychiatric covariates to repeated violent crimes and aggression among offenders under forensic psychiatric investigation in Sweden. As psychopathy is not included in the present psychiatric diagnostic systems, we compared total and factor PCL-R scores to Axis I disorders, including childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorders, and to Axis II personality disorders, to establish the convergence of psychopathic traits with other psychiatric diagnoses, and to identify possible unique features. Psychopathic traits were positively correlated with bipolar mood disorder and negatively with unipolar depression. The total PCL-R scores as well as the Factor 2 (unemotionality) and Factor 3 (behavioral dyscontrol) scores were significantly correlated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Asperger's syndrome/high-functioning autistic traits, CD, substance abuse, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Cluster B personality disorders. The interpersonal Factor 1 showed none of these correlations and may capture features that are specific to psychopathy, distinguishing core psychopathy from other diagnostic definitions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-116
    JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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