Psychopathy and risk assessment

Authored by: Mark E. Olver , Stephen C. P. Wong

Routledge International Handbook of Psychopathy and Crime

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085169
eBook ISBN: 9781315111476
Adobe ISBN:


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Research has shown highly consistent links between PCL–R scores and offending behaviors across gender, age, ethnic groups, offender types, settings, countries, and outcomes; few risk assessment tools have undergone as rigorous a scrutiny as the PCL–R. Just as consistent is the relatively stronger link for Factor 2 than Factor 1 with offending behaviors. Antisocial attitudes and orientation reflected as past offending behaviors (essentially Factor 2 features) outperform stable personality features (essentially Factor 1 features) in predicting recidivism. The long-held pessimism in treating individuals with psychopathy to reduce reoffending has gradually given way to some guarded optimism based on recent positive research findings. Within the forensic community, we now have the risk assessment tools, treatment models, and an extensive body of knowledge that can be used to treat a wide range of clientele, even those who are deemed highly challenging and recalcitrant such as individuals with psychopathy.

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