The role of psychopathy and childhood maltreatment in homicidal ideation

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Purpose: To investigate the relationship psychopathy and childhood maltreatment have on homicidal ideation. Methods: Data was collected from 326 criminal justice involved individuals and analyzed using negative binomial regression. Psychopathy was measured using the Elemental Psychopathy Assessment Super-Short Form. Childhood maltreatment included physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. Results: Findings showed that psychopathy is a significantly and positively related to homicidal ideation. However, only two of the three subscales of psychopathy remained significant when the construct was disaggregated. Childhood maltreatment was a significant predictor of homicidal ideation in all of the models. Conclusion: Overall, the findings suggest that researchers should continue to examine not just psychopathy but also the subscales of psychopathy. Moreover, childhood maltreatment was evidenced to be an important factor for criminologists and criminal justice practitioners to be aware of.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101810
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Homicidal ideation
  • Maltreatment
  • Psychopathy


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