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Psychopathy Increases Violence Among Intimate Partners



Credit: VCU

Individuals with greater degrees of psychopathic tendencies will attack their companions than non-psychopaths.

They’re also more likely to consume and even abuse alcohol, a new study suggests.

The research, initiated at UBC University, decided to look at police reports and similar information concerning 870 students at the University, along with 700 US city psychiatric patients in Kelowna, BC, PsyPost wrote.

Walsh’s research study ran in association with Okano of McGill College and Langille of UBC and was published online in the journal Law and Individual Behavior.

“In this research, we noted that having higher levels of psychopathic personality traits is an important predictor of how likely someone is to engage in intimate partner violence,” said Zach Walsh, the study’s lead investigator.

The study also stated: “Psychopathy is also associated with alcohol use, a prominent risk factor for IPV. This pattern of interrelationship raises the possibility that psychopathy might mediate the relationship between alcohol use and IPV.”

Researchers believe that with this study, it may help companies and policy makers forecast and potentially reduce attempts at assault and battery, conducted as a result of the personality disorder psychopathy.

Additionally, researchers found a pattern of physical aggression and psychopathic personality characteristics in both students and psychiatric patients.

“Future research that examines IPV risk should consider the potential role of psychopathy, particularly when investigating risk associated with alcohol use,” the study concluded.

Psychopathy, also known as antisocial personality disorder, is a psychiatric illness affecting millions of people each year.

According to psychologists, psychopathic patients exhibit hallmark traits such as lack of empathy, loss of remorse, defiant to social rules, delinquent behavior and manipulativeness.

Recently, Mental Daily reported on another research study, this one initiated on the prison inmate population, to find out whether or not psychopathy is genetic.

In the study published by Business Insider, researchers launched a ‘genome-wide study using data from the Finnish CRIME sample,’ which researchers gathered in 2010 to 2011 from 749 Finnish prison inmates.

Researchers found that both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and psychopathy traits originate from the DNA of the affected individual.

This notion challenged clinical psychologists who firmly believe psychopathy is the result of harsh environmental stressors, such as neglect, abuse or severe trauma.

Moreover, the researchers also came to the conclusion that ADHD can dramatically increase the risk of developing psychopathy, or antisocial personality disorder.

More tests still need to be done for researchers to be sure that psychopathy has genetic influences. The new data may soon help treat symptoms of psychopathy, researchers hope.

This new information may soon help find new treatments for patients diagnosed with psychopathy, researchers hope.

Jose Florez is the founder and editor of Mental Daily. His work has appeared in Psychology Today, Glamour, HuffPost, among others. He is a mental health advocate, and currently studying psychology.

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