Diagnosing Psychopathy: The Triarchic Model by Christopher J. Patrick

comparative Essay
2026 words
2026 words

Psychopathy has fascinated the public for years due to the gruesome and evil portrayal it has received in the media. Psychopathy is defined in the DSM-III as a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior (Patrick, Christopher, Fowles, Krueger, Rober, 2009). Psychopathy represents a cluster of different dimensions of personality found amongst the general population to varying degrees (Patrick et al, 2009). The diagnostic definition is meant to be applied to adults, however psychopathology can occur in children. Controversy surrounds the topic of childhood mental illness because the brain is not fully developed until the age of 18; thus allowing the possibility that symptoms are the result of growing up and will change. The triarchic model, formulated by Christopher J. Patrick, is the most commonly used model in diagnosing adult and childhood psychopathy. This model suggests that different conceptions of psychopathy emphasize three observable characteristics to varying degrees; boldness, disinhibition and meanness (Patrick, et al, 2009). Boldness is the first observable characteristic and is comprised of low fear including stress-tolerance, toleration of unfamiliarity and danger, and high self-confidence and social assertiveness. Disinhibition; characterized by poor impulse control including problems with planning and foresight, lacking affect and urge control, demand for immediate gratification, and poor behavioral restraints. Meanness is defined as lacking empathy and close attachments with others, disdain of close attachments, use of cruelty to gain empowerment, exploitative tendencies, defiance of authority, and destructive excitement seek...

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...sychopathy: Developmental origins of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness".
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In this essay, the author

  • Explains that psychopathy is a cluster of different dimensions of personality found amongst the general population to varying degrees.
  • Explains how robert, clifford, attkisson & rosenblatt analyzed the prevalence of psychopathy among children, and anderson, williams, mcgee and silva (1987).
  • Explains that einfeld and tonge conducted a multicentre study in australia to assess the prevalence of psychopathology in children with mild intellectual disability.
  • Explains that the etiology of a mental illness is important as it allows researchers and psychologists to figure out how the illness manifested.
  • Compares hindman, riggs & hook's on family systems theory with tackett et al.
  • Compares de bolle, beyers, de clercq, and de fruyt's hypothesis to hindman, riggs & hook.
  • Explains that caron, weiss, harris & catron (2006) examined the relationships between parent or caregiver behaviors and childhood internalizing and externalizing problems in a sample of 70 fourth-grade children.
  • Explains that the quality of mental health care for children depends on the presence of specialist services, but also on how effective the primary care giver providers identify, confidence and aids the children with emotional and behavioral problems.
  • Explains that the treatment of psychopathy, for individuals of any age, can be difficult due to the nature of the disorder.
  • Describes de bolle, beyers, de clercq, and de fruyt's general personality.
  • Explains caron, weiss, harris, and catron, t. parenting behavior dimensions and child.
  • Describes einfeld, s. l., and tonge, b. j. population prevalence of psychopathology in children.
  • Explains hindman, riggs, hook, and hook's contributions of executive, parent–child and summary
  • Explains muris, p, and ollendick, t. the role of temperament in the etiology of child psychopathology.
  • Explains tackett, lahey, van hulle, waldman, krueger, r. f., and rathouz, p. j.
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