Freud never focused specifically on criminal behavior but he emphasized that modern civilization is built upon the suppression of instincts and that each individual must surrender some part of his or her aggressive or vindictive inclination. An individual who has an unyielding constitution and cannot suppress instinct becomes a criminal — unless his social position is high enough or his exceptional activities enable him to be seen as a great man or a hero (the narcissist) — paraphrased from Freud (1908) 'Civilized' sexual morality and modern nervous illness; Penguin Freud Library volume 12. Freud saw a constitutional predisposition to criminality — expressed as a weakness of repression. Freud also distinguished psychopathy as a guiltless crime — the psychopath develops no moral institutions — versus criminals who commit crimes out of a sense of guilt — deliberately creating situations where their punishment will be inevitable expressed as a manifestation of the unconscious guilt. (Fonagy & Target, 1996).
Karpman, B. (1941/48). Distinguished between primary psychopaths and secondary "neurotic" psychopaths. Defined the variants of psychopathy to narrow the concept to include only primary psychopathy and to broaden the concept of neurosis to include neurotic secondary psychopathy. Secondary psychopaths' hostile, antisocial behavior was thought to reflect a character neurosis traceable to environmental causes, whereas that of the primary psychopath was thought to reflect the "instinctive emotional organization of a subhuman animal' which is rooted chiefly in constitutional deficits. Secondary psychopaths are capable of responding to psychotherapy because their behavior is based on an underlying conflict and they possess "the original capacity to absorb the elements of moral and ethical training" (p. 458). In contrast, according to Karpman, primary psychopaths are incurable and appropriate for indefinite institutionalization.
Harris, G. T., Rice, M. E., Hilton, N. Z., Lalumiere, M. L., & Quinsey, V. L. (2007). Coercive and precocious sexuality as a fundamental aspect of psychopathy. (1), 1-27. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2007.21.1.1 Sexual behavior is closely associated with delinquency and crime. Although psychopaths, by definition, have many short-term sexual relationships, it has not been shown that sexuality is a core aspect of psychopathy. A Darwinian view of psychopathy led to the hypothesis that psychopaths have a unique sexuality involving early, frequent, and coercive sex. Our subjects were 512 sex offenders assessed on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R). Five variables reflecting early, frequent, and coercive sex loaded on the same principal component in exploratory factor analysis on a subset of the sample, whereas PCL-R items pertaining to adult sexual behavior did not. Confirmatory factor analysis of the remaining subjects yielded a measurement model containing three inter-correlated factors-the traditional two PCL-R factors, and coercive and precocious sexuality. Taxometric analyses gave evidence of a natural discontinuity underlying coercive and precocious sexuality. Coercive and precocious sexuality yielded statistically significant associations with other study variables predicted by the Darwinian hypothesis. The present findings are consistent with prior empirical findings and support the hypothesis that psychopathy has been a nonpathological, reproductively viable, alternate life history strategy.
Hare, R. D., & Neumann, C. S. (2006). The PCL-R assessment of psychopathy: Development, structural properties, and new directions. In C. J. Patrick (Ed.), (pp. 58-88). New York: Guilford. This is a detailed overview of the development and structural properties of the PCL-R and its derivatives. The Psychopathy Checklist—Revised 1. Glibness/superficial charm 2. Grandiose sense of self worth 3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 4. Pathological lying 5. Conning/manipulative 6. Lack of remorse or guilt 7. Shallow affect 8. Callous/lack of empathy 9. Parasitic lifestyle 10. Poor behavioural controls 11. Promiscuous sexual behavior 12. Early behaviour problems 13. Lack of realistic, long-term goals 14. Impulsivity 15. Irresponsibility 16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions 17. Many short-term marital relationships 18. Juvenile delinquency 19. Revocation of conditional release 20. Criminal versatility
Jaffe, S. R., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A. (2003). Life with (or without) father: the benefits of living with two biological parents depend on the father's antisocial behavior. (1), 109-126. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.t01-1-00524 The salutary effects of being raised by two married, biological parents depend on the quality of care parents can provide. Using data from an epidemiological sample of 1,116 5-year-old twin pairs and their parents, this study found that the less time fathers lived with their children, the more conduct problems their children had, but only if the fathers engaged in low levels of antisocial behavior. In contrast, when fathers engaged in high levels of antisocial behavior, the more time they lived with their children, the more conduct problems their children had. Behavioral genetic analyses showed that children who resided with antisocial fathers received a "double whammy" of genetic and environmental risk for conduct problems. Marriage may not be the answer to the problems faced by some children living in single-parent families unless their fathers can become reliable sources of emotional and economic support. . . . First, at least in early childhood, when fathers engaged in high levels of antisocial behavior, their presence was linked to children's conduct problems in the clinical range. . . . Second, despite the fact that fathers who engage in high levels of antisocial behavior make up a small proportion of fathers overall, they are responsible for a disproportionate number of births. . . . Third, our findings do not suggest that most children's antisocial behavior would be reduced if they were raised by two biological parents.
Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., LaCasse, L., & Colletti, P. (2000). Reduced Prefrontal Gray Matter Volume and Reduced Autonomic Activity in Antisocial Personality Disorder. (2), 119-127. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.57.2.119 Background Major damage to gray and white matter in the prefrontal cortex and autonomic deficits have been found to result in pseudopsychopathic personality in patients with neurological disorders, but it is not known whether people with antisocial personality disorder (APD) in the community who do not have discernable brain trauma also have subtle prefrontal deficits. Methods Prefrontal gray and white matter volumes were assessed using structural magnetic resonance imaging in 21 community volunteers with APD (APD group) and in 2 control groups, comprising 34 healthy subjects (control group), 26 subjects with substance dependence (substance-dependent group), and 21 psychiatric controls. Autonomic activity (skin conductance and heart rate) was also assessed during a social stressor in which participants gave a videotaped speech on their faults. Results The APD group showed an 11.0% reduction in prefrontal gray matter volume in the absence of ostensible brain lesions and reduced autonomic activity during the stressor. These deficits predicted group membership independent of psychosocial risk factors. Conclusions To our knowledge, these findings provide the first evidence for a structural brain deficit in APD. This prefrontal structural deficit may underlie the low arousal, poor fear conditioning, lack of conscience, and decision-making deficits that have been found to characterize antisocial, psychopathic behavior. . . . men with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder have a significantly reduced amount of prefrontal gray matter when compared with normal men or with drug or alcohol-dependent men without antisocial personality disorder.
Patrick, C. J. (2007). Antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy. In W. T. O'Donohue, K. A. Fowler, & S.O. Lilienfeld, (Eds.). (pp. 109-166.) Thousand Oaks CA: Sage. Provides a comprehensive review of the concept in DSM. DSM-I was modeled loosely after the sixth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD: World Health Organization, 1948), which for the first time included a section devoted to the classification of mental disorders. The initial edition of the DSM contains a category of mental disorders termed "sociopathic personality disturbance;" following earlier conceptualizations of psychopathy, this designation included a broad range of syndromes encompassing sexual deviation of various kinds, addictions, and delinquency. Included among the disorders in this category was a syndrome referred to as "sociopathic personality disturbance: antisocial reaction," intended to capture the aggressive, criminally deviant individual who repeatedly violates the norms and laws of society. (The use of the term "reactions" throughout DSM one is attributable to the lingering influence of Adolph Meyer, who viewed mental disorders as reactions of the personality to biological, social, and psychological factors.) The second edition of the DSM was developed to line even more closely with the version of the ICD in place at the time, ICD — 8. In DSM-II, the term "reaction" was eliminated as a descriptor for disorders. Sexual deviation, addictions, and delinquent personality types were grouped under a category entitled "personality disorders and certain other non-psychotic mental disorders." Within this category, the term antisocial personality was used for a syndrome corresponding to psychopathy. The diagnostic features of the syndrome closely resembled those proposed by Cleckley and included weak socialization, incapacity for loyalty, selfishness, callousness, irresponsibility, and absence of guilt. A serious limitation of DSM-II was that the basis for diagnostic classification consisted of prototypical descriptions of each disorder rather than specific, behavior-oriented diagnostic criteria. As a result, the reliability of clinical and research diagnostic classifications used in DSM-II was generally poor. . . . . the criteria for antisocial personality disorder in the DSM-III was strongly influenced by the works of Robins (1966), who conducted groundbreaking research on the development of "sociopathy" by following up a large sample of individuals (N = 524) seen as children in a treatment clinic for juvenile delinquents. Following Cleckley, Robins's initial criteria for sociopathy included items relating to lack of guilt, remorse, and shame, but (due in part to problems in assessing them reliably) these criteria failed to differentiate significantly between sociopaths and non-sociopaths in her study, and thus were discarded as indicators in the criterion sets developed subsequently by Feighner et al. and Spitzer et al. Consequently, the criteria for APD adopted within DSM-III focused exclusively on behavioral indicants of deviance in childhood and adulthood, including such things as truancy, delinquency, stealing, vandalism, irresponsibility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, recklessness, and lying. As a function of this change, the DSM-III diagnosis of antisocial personality proved to be highly reliable. Nevertheless, influential investigators in the area (e.g., Francis, 1980; Hare, 1983; Millon, 1981) were quick to challenge the diagnostic validity of the DSM-III criteria for APD on the grounds that they excluded many of the features Cleckley determined central to psychopathy, including superficial charm, absence of anxiety, lack of remorse or empathy, and general poverty of affect. Some effort was made to respond to these criticisms in the revised third edition of the DSM by the addition of lack of remorse (i.e. "feels justified in having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another," p. 346) as an adult criterion for APD.
Lynam, D. R., & Widiger, T. A. (2007). Using a general model of personality to identify the basic elements of psychopathy. (2), 160-178. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2007.21.2.160 In the present paper, we outline why we believe that factor analyses of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist Revised (Hare, 2003) are unlikely to yield the basic elements of psychopathy. As an alternative approach, we suggest embedding psychopathy within a broad model of general personality functioning, namely the five factor model (McCrae & Costa, 1990). Drawing on our previous work in the area using expert ratings, correlational approaches, and a "translation" of the PCL-R, we provide a consensus description of the core elements of psychopathy: extremely high interpersonal antagonism, pan-impulsivity, the absence of negative self-directed affect, the presence of angry hostility, and interpersonal assertiveness. We end with a discussion of the implications of this analysis for understanding, researching, and measuring psychopathy.
Luengo, M. A., Carrillo de la Pena, M. T., Otero, J. M., Romero, E. (1994). A short term longitudinal study of impulsivity and antisocial behavior. (3), 542-548. doi:10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1242 Analyzes the relationships between impulsivity and antisocial behavior in a noninstitutionalized sample, taking into account the multidimensional nature of impulsivity and the diversity of types of antisocial behavior. Data were obtained in 1989 and 1990 from 1,226 adolescents aged 12-18 yrs as part of a longitudinal study of risk factors for drug abuse and delinquency. The patterns of stability or change of the various dimensions of antisocial behavior (rule breaking, vandalism, theft, aggression, and drug taking) in relation to impulsivity were investigated. The results support that self-report measures of impulsivity are closely correlated with antisocial behavior among adolescents. The longitudinally-oriented analysis of this work also shows that impulsivity is associated with a future increase in antisocial behavior.