Psychopathy and self-injurious thoughts and behaviour: Application of latent class analysis

Katie Dhingra, Daniel Boduszek, Derrol Kola-Palmer, Mark Shevlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although early conceptualisations posited an inverse relationship between psychopathy and self-injury, little research has tested this. Aims: To examine the self-injurious thoughts and behaviours associated with psychopathy. Methods: Data from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Project (N = 871) were used to examine homogenous subtypes of participants based on their responses to six self-injury items. A binary logistic regression model was used to interpret the nature of the latent classes by estimating the associations with the four psychopathy factors, mixed anxiety-depression, violence victimisation, and gender. Results: A 2-class solution provided the best fit to the data. Most participants (86.2%) were assigned to the baseline ("low self-injury risk") group. "The high-risk self-injury group" was characterised by a higher probability of endorsing all self-injury items, particularly "thoughts of hurting self" and "attempts to hurt self". The four psychopathy factors showed differential associations with self-injury group membership. Participant's scorings, higher on the affective component and lower on interpersonal component of psychopathy, were significantly more likely to be assigned to the high risk group. Significant associations were also found between mixed anxiety/depression and gender, and "high-risk self-injury group" membership. Conclusions: These findings have important implications for the identification of individuals at risk of self-injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-8
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number1
Early online date30 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


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