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Examining psychopathy from an attachment perspective: the role of fear of rejection and abandonment

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Abstract
A key feature of psychopathy, a self-centered orientation towards others and a failure to truly connect, is poorly understood. The attachment framework can be used to examine underlying interpersonal mechanisms. Because of the overall failure to connect, we anticipated, and found, in a large undergraduate sample (n=1074) that both affective-interpersonal traits and impulsive-irresponsible psychopathy facets were positively related to attachment avoidance. Different dynamics may underlie this distancing from others, as evidenced by the fact that callous-unemotionality was negatively related to attachment anxiety, whereas grandiose-manipulative and impulsive-irresponsible traits were positively related to attachment anxiety. Although effect sizes were small and are of correlational nature, our results are in line with a dual deficit model that differential developmental trajectories, largely heritable callousness vs. neglecting and abusive parenting, may lead to adult psychopathy. The differentiating role of fear of rejection and abandonment for the psychopathy construct is discussed.
Keywords
antisocial, intimate relationships, callous-unemotional, attachment, fear of rejection, psychopathy, CONSTRUCT, VALIDITY, AMYGDALA, MODEL, ADOLESCENTS, METAANALYSIS, SAMPLE

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Chicago
Conradi, HJ, SD Boertien, H Cavus, and Bruno Verschuere. 2016. “Examining Psychopathy from an Attachment Perspective: The Role of Fear of Rejection and Abandonment.” Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 27 (1): 92–109.
APA
Conradi, H., Boertien, S., Cavus, H., & Verschuere, B. (2016). Examining psychopathy from an attachment perspective: the role of fear of rejection and abandonment. JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY & PSYCHOLOGY, 27(1), 92–109.
Vancouver
1.
Conradi H, Boertien S, Cavus H, Verschuere B. Examining psychopathy from an attachment perspective: the role of fear of rejection and abandonment. JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY & PSYCHOLOGY. ABINGDON: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD; 2016;27(1):92–109.
MLA
Conradi, HJ, SD Boertien, H Cavus, et al. “Examining Psychopathy from an Attachment Perspective: The Role of Fear of Rejection and Abandonment.” JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY & PSYCHOLOGY 27.1 (2016): 92–109. Print.
@article{7099502,
  abstract     = {A key feature of psychopathy, a self-centered orientation towards others and a failure to truly connect, is poorly understood. The attachment framework can be used to examine underlying interpersonal mechanisms. Because of the overall failure to connect, we anticipated, and found, in a large undergraduate sample (n=1074) that both affective-interpersonal traits and impulsive-irresponsible psychopathy facets were positively related to attachment avoidance. Different dynamics may underlie this distancing from others, as evidenced by the fact that callous-unemotionality was negatively related to attachment anxiety, whereas grandiose-manipulative and impulsive-irresponsible traits were positively related to attachment anxiety. Although effect sizes were small and are of correlational nature, our results are in line with a dual deficit model that differential developmental trajectories, largely heritable callousness vs. neglecting and abusive parenting, may lead to adult psychopathy. The differentiating role of fear of rejection and abandonment for the psychopathy construct is discussed.},
  author       = {Conradi, HJ and Boertien, SD and Cavus, H and Verschuere, Bruno},
  issn         = {1478-9949},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY \& PSYCHOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {92--109},
  publisher    = {ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR \& FRANCIS LTD},
  title        = {Examining psychopathy from an attachment perspective: the role of fear of rejection and abandonment},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14789949.2015.1077264},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2016},
}

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