Alcohol Pathology and the Triarchic Model of Psychopathy: The Role of Protective Behavioral Strategies and Impulsivity

Abstract

OVERVIEW: Psychopathy has been an area of growing interest in psychology for the last half century. Currently, the most common conceptualization of psychopathy breaks it down into two factors: primary and secondary psychopathy. More recently, psychopathy has been viewed through a more nuanced model, the Triarchic Model of Psychopathy. The present study examines the relationship between the three facets of the Triarchic Model and alcohol pathology via aspects of impulsivity and Protective Behavioral Strategies (PBS). METHOD: A college student sample of n = 967 individuals who endorsed consuming alcohol completed surveys regarding the Triarchic Model, impulsivity, PBS use, and alcohol pathology. RESULTS: Our findings indicate that boldness and disinhibition are significant predictors of alcohol pathology. Boldness was partially mediated by conscientiousness, while disinhibition was partially mediated by both conscientiousness and PBS use. Meanness was not associated with higher levels of alcohol pathology. CONCLUSIONS: It seems that aspects of psychopathy related to disinhibition and boldness are predictive of alcohol pathology, while meanness, though similar to primary psychopathy, does not relate to alcohol pathology as hypothesized. This thesis not only adds to the literature between psychopathy and alcohol pathology but allows for a more exact insight regarding aspects of psychopathy and their relation to alcohol pathology

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