Psychopathic personality disorder (PPD) is associated with serious dysfunction (e.g., crime, violence), and as a result, scholars believe it inflicts a massive social burden. Yet, very few works have quantified the severity of this burden. The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the economic cost of crime attributable to PPD. To achieve this goal, a three-pronged approach was implemented. In Study 1, a conceptual analysis of PPD and violence risk case formulation was conducted, which revealed a host of potential causal links to violence. In Study 2, a top-down societal study considered prevalence rates, offending rates, and national costs of crime to produce national estimates of PPD-related crime costs for the US, UK, and Canada. The results suggested that PPD had staggeringly high crime costs in the US (simulated $678 to $1,276 billion) and Canada (simulated $33 to $42 billion), whereas the UK produced relatively modest costs (simulated £4.77 billion). In Study 3, a sample-driven empirical study of Canadian federal offenders was conducted. Using the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised, higher PPD traits were predictive of prospective crime costs. The results of all three studies suggest that people suffering from PPD produce disproportionately high crime costs. The discussion covered topics such as the causal role of PPD on violence, treatment of PPD, and policy implications for funding treatment and research.
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Thesis advisor: Douglas, Kevin
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