Differential associations between psychopathy dimensions, types of aggression, and response inhibition

J. Feilhauer*, M. Cima, A. Korebrits, H. J. Kunert

*Corresponding author for this work

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37 Citations (Web of Science)


Findings on executive functioning in psychopathy are inconsistent. Different associations between psychopathy dimensions and executive functioning might explain contradicting findings. This study examined the role of psychopathy dimensions and types of aggression in response inhibition among 117 male adolescents (53 antisocial delinquents and 64 controls). Participants completed a self-report measure of aggression and a GoNoGo task. Psychopathy dimensions were assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version. Although high scores on the antisocial dimension and reactive aggression were associated with poor response inhibition, the affective-interpersonal dimension, proactive aggression, and verbal intelligence (IQ) were related to better response inhibition (two-factor model). Associations with the affective-interpersonal dimensions did not reach significance. Exploratory analyses showed that affective and antisocial facets accounted for the obtained opposing associations of the affective-interpersonal and antisocial psychopathy dimensions with response inhibition. The interpersonal and lifestyle facets (four-facet model) were unrelated to response inhibition. Results could not be explained by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Findings suggest differential associations between the psychopathy dimensions, types of aggression, and response inhibition. Therefore, a dimensional approach to psychopathy and related concepts, such as aggression, might strongly improve diagnostic procedures. Global scores could mask important differential associations. Aggr. Behav. 38: 77-88, 2012. (C) 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-88
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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