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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve Arnaut, Psy.D., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michelle Guyton, Ph.D., ABPP


Previous research on psychopathy has been focused primarily on the use of pathological characteristics of psychopathy (e.g., antisocial behavior, impulsivity, lack of remorse) as predictors of overt aggression and physical violence. To date, little research exists regarding psychopathy as a predictor of relational aggression. In the current study, the usefulness of the interpersonal and antisocial subscales (as well as the stand-alone Coldheartedness scale) of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory – Revised (PPI-R) to predict the frequency of relational aggression among 136 male inmates was examined. Results of a Poisson regression model indicated that five of the eight PPI-R subscales (i.e., Machiavellian Egocentricity, Rebellious Nonconformity, Social Influence, Stress Immunity, and Coldheartedness) were significant predictors of relational aggression. An additional Poisson regression showed no significant relationship between PPI-R subscales and the frequency of violent disciplinary reports (DRs). Further research on this topic is necessary to better understand covert interpersonal and antisocial behaviors inherent in psychopathy as well as how institutions can better ensure safety within their walls and within the inmate population.

Available for download on Saturday, October 27, 2018