A predictive model of criminality in civil psychiatric populations

Evans, Laura and Ioannou, Maria and Hammond, Laura (2014) A predictive model of criminality in civil psychiatric populations. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 5 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2009-3829

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Purpose – This study sought to develop a predictive model of criminal risk in civil psychiatric populations, by determining the relative impacts of 1) psychopathy, 2) drug use, 3) impulsivity and 4) intelligence on levels of criminality.

Design/methodology/approach - The sample consisted of 871 civil psychiatric patients, selected from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, who had been diagnosed with a mental illness or personality disorder, and hospitalised less than 21 days. Each participant was administered the Hare Psychopathy Checklist Screening Version (PCL:SV), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R). In addition, information on background demographics, drug use and criminality was obtained via a self-report questionnaire.

Findings - Pearson correlations identified significant positive relationships between past arrests, psychopathy, impulsivity, and drug use. Intelligence was negatively related to past arrests. Multiple regression identified a significant main effect for Factor 2 psychopathy on past arrests when controlling for all covariates, but not for Factor 1 psychopathy, intelligence or impulsivity. Drug use and gender had small univariate effects.

Research limitations/implications - It is suggested that future research investigates the influence of specific mental disorders on different types of offending.

Originality/value – By investigating predictors of criminal behaviour in civil psychiatric patients, the present study makes valuable contributions to the research literature, enhancing our theoretical understanding of the relationships between psychopathy and criminality/recidivism. It also has notable implications in applied practice, for example; in the development and refinement of risk assessment methods.

Keywords: Psychopathy, Criminal Behaviour, Intelligence, Impulsivity, Recidivism

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/JCP-10-2014-0015
18 November 2014Accepted
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Silvio Aldrovandi
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2018 12:53
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:43
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5766

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