Beyond criminality: exploring associations between psychopathic traits and lifestyles among non-offenders in sub-Saharan Africa

J. E. Eze, C. T. Orjiakor, S. K. Iorfa, C. John

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Research on psychopathy has largely been skewed towards examining the roles of psychopathy in antisocial or offending behaviour. There are however, indications that psychopathic traits may support adaptive lifestyles and survival abilities in non-clinical samples.

    Method: We sought to determine the association of psychopathic traits with adaptive lifestyles among 265 university students (men = 52.5%; mean age = 22.86 years, SD= 5.04 years) who completed multidimensional measures of psychopathy and lifestyles.

    Results: Multiple linear regression results revealed that global psychopathy was negatively associated with nutrition for both genders; and for men, it was negatively associated with avoidance of substance use, social concern, and accident prevention. Among the domains of psychopathy, affective responsive-ness was generally negatively associated with healthy lifestyles for both genders. For women, global psychopathy and the cognitive responsiveness domain were positively associated with environmental concern, while cognitive responsiveness and interpersonal manipulation domains were positively associated with avoidance of substance use and concern for others. For men, interpersonal manipulation domain was positively associated with accident prevention/safety practices.

    Conclusion: Although psychopathic traits were associated with poor life out-comes, some of the traits may support adaptive lifestyles
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-489
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
    Issue number4
    Early online date15 May 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020


    • adaptive lifestyles
    • gender
    • non-offender
    • psychopathic traits

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