Fantastic and uninviting behavior: psychopathy, alcohol, and violence

Published date09 July 2018
Date09 July 2018
AuthorMarc T. Swogger,Kathleen M. Montry,Zach Walsh,David S. Kosson
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression, conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology, policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
Invited submission
Fantastic and uninviting behavior:
psychopathy, alcohol, and violence
Marc T. Swogger, Kathleen M. Montry, Zach Walsh and David S. Kosson
Purpose Early clinical accounts of psychopathy suggest important relationships betweenalcohol use and
psychopathictraits that lead to fantastic and uninviting behavior. In particular, alcohol wasthought to facilitate
antisocialbehavior, includingviolence, among psychopathicindividuals. Thepurpose of this paper is to reporta
review of studies that concurrently examine psychopathy and alcohol in relation to violent behavior.
Design/methodology/approach The authors searched electronic databases (PsycInfo, PUBMED) for all
published studies between January 1960 and October 2016 that included the combination of alcohol and
psychopathy, antisocial personality and violence, aggression.
Findings The evidence converges to indicate that, in college and community samples, self-reported
antisocial lifestyle traits interact with alcohol use to predict violence beyond that accounted for by either
construct. However, in correctional and clinical samples, there is no evidence that the use of alcohol
increases violence for individuals high in clinically measured antisocial lifestyle traits.
Originality/value This is the first review of the empirical literature on relationships among psychopathy,
alcohol, and violence. The authors provide recommendations for future research designed to fill gaps in the
literature and lead to a greater understanding of the interplay among these variables.
Keywords Alcohol, Psychopathy, Violence, Aggression, Addiction, Antisocial
Paper type Literature review
Violent behavior and violent criminal recidivism pose devastating public health effects.
Victims of interpersonal violence experience physical, psychological, social, and interpersonal
consequences (Kazdin, 2011). Violence victimization is associated with chronic and
lifelong physical problems (Campbell, 2002; Kazdin, 2011), and its psychological
consequences include posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicide attempts,
and substance use disorders (Campbell and Patterson, 2011). Violent offenders are subject
to incarceration which is itself a public health problem. Understanding factors that contribute to
interpersonal violence, alone or in interaction with other factors, is an important area
of scientific inquir y.
Several individual and situational risk factors for violence have been documented
(Anderson and Bush man, 2002). Alcohol i ntoxication is amon g the most prominent o f the
situational risk factors for violence, although evidence suggests that this association may vary
according to sample type and is moderated by individual differences (Fishbein, 2003;
Foran and OLeary, 2008). Psychopathic personality has emerged as another individual risk
factor for violence among forensic (Grann and Wedin, 2002), clinical (Fowler and
Westen, 2011) and non-clinical samples (Coyne et al., 2010; Hare, 2003). Psychopathy is
also associated with harmful alcohol use (Hemphill et al., 1998; Walsh et al., 2007),
which suggests th e possibility that violence, p sychopathy, and alcohol use m ay be interrelated
in complex ways.
Received 21 September 2017
Revised 6 October 2017
Accepted 8 October 2017
Thanks to Mikalia Callaghan for
manuscript review and editing.
Marc T. Swogger is an
Associate Professor at the
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Rochester Medical
Center, University of
Rochester, Rochester,
New York, USA.
Kathleen M. Montry is a PhD
Candidate at the Department of
Psychology, Rosalind Franklin
University of Medicine and
Science, North Chicago, Illinois,
Zach Walsh is an Associate
Professor at the Department of
Psychology, University of
British Columbia,
Vancouver, Canada.
David S. Kosson is a Professor
at the Department of
Psychology, Rosalind Franklin
University of Medicine and
Science, North Chicago, Illinois,
VOL. 10 NO. 3 2018, pp.210-222, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599 DOI 10.1108/JACPR-09-2017-0317

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