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12-11-2018 | Uitgave 4/2019

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 4/2019

Differences and Similarities in how Psychopathic Traits Predict Attachment Insecurity in Females and Males

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 4/2019
Hannah C. Walsh, Sandeep Roy, Heather E. Lasslett, Craig S. Neumann
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We examined whether there are differential associations between latent psychopathy (Interpersonal, Affective, Lifestyle, Antisocial) and adult attachment anxiety and avoidance factors, and if sex moderated the associations in a large sample of young adults (n = 590). Participants completed the Self-Report Psychopathy-Short Form (SRP-SF) and the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR) attachment scale. Based on norms from the SRP Manual (Paulhus et al. 2017), 19.1% reported an elevated SRP total score (T-score = 60). Multiple group structural equation modeling (MGSEM) was conducted with item factor loadings and thresholds constrained to be equal across male and female subsamples. The MGSEM results indicated excellent model fit (CFI = .95; RMSEA = .04), thus providing evidence of strong invariance and assurance of equvalence of measurement across sex. The pattern of SEM results across males and females revealed both similar and differential relations between specific psychopathy and attachment factors. For both sexes, the Affective psychopathy factor had a significant effect on Avoidant attachment (Males, β = .48; Females, β = .48). In contrast, for males, the Avoidant attachment factor was linked with the Lifestyle factor (β = .47), while for females, the Antisocial factor had a negative effect on Avoidant attachment (β = −.23). The findings highlight both similarities and differences across sex regarding the associations between psychopathic trait domains and disturbances in adult attachment consistent with previous studies. Discussion of this pattern of results and their implications for further understanding of psychopathic traits in males versus females are provided.

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