Intelligence and Interpersonal Functioning in Youth and Young Adults with Varying Levels of Psychopathic and Callous-Unemotional Traits
Tina D. Wall Myers, Ph.D
The current study examined 30 youth and young adults ages 12-21 who were receiving therapy services at South Community, Inc. The intelligence and interpersonal functioning of individuals with varying levels of psychopathic and callous-unemotional (CU) traits was studied. Although there are a variety of conceptualizations of psychopathy, this study used the Triarchic Model of Psychopathy (TriPM), which defines the three factors of psychopathy as boldness, meanness, and disinhibition. CU traits are a downward extension of psychopathy, overlapping with the meanness factor, and are embodied by an absence of guilt, remorse, and the expression of superficial emotion. “Successful” psychopathy is a term applied to individuals who have psychopathic traits but are non-antisocial and function at a comparable level to individuals lacking psychopathic traits. Interpersonal functioning refers to one’s ability to interact with others; a significant distinction between successful and unsuccessful psychopathy involves interpersonal skills. Both verbal and abstract intelligence were assessed. Participants completed the Triarchic Personality Measure (TriPM), the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and the Shipley Institute of Living Scale-Second Edition (Shipley-2) in order to assess their levels of psychopathy, CU traits, interpersonal functioning, and intelligence. It was hypothesized that individuals with high levels of CU traits, psychopathy, and intelligence would have higher levels of interpersonal functioning than individuals with high levels of CU traits and psychopathy but low levels of intelligence. It was also hypothesized that this relation will be particularly true for abstract intelligence. This is supported by previous research suggesting low intelligence is present in psychopathic individuals who exhibit antisocial and violent behavior and may correlate with the predisposition to callous-unemotional behavior in youth.
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Feyche, Marie, "Intelligence and Interpersonal Functioning in Youth and Young Adults with Varying Levels of Psychopathic and Callous-Unemotional Traits" (2019). Honors Theses. 210.