PsychEd Episode 46: Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy with Dr. Donald Lynam

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Welcome to PsychEd, the psychiatry podcast for medical learners, by medical learners. In this episode, we present a broad overview of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy with our guest expert - Dr. Donald Lynam. Dr. Lynam is a clinical psychologist by training, and professor at Purdue university, where he heads the Purdue's Developmental Psychopathology, Psychopathy and Personality Lab. While there may be some disagreement in the field, Dr. Lynam and I discuss how ASPD and psychopathy are two diagnostic constructs that are attempting to outline the same psychopathology, with the main difference being the degree of severity - for this reason, we use the terms antisocial and psychopathic interchangeably.

While not necessary, it may be of benefit for listeners to familiarize themselves with the DSM-V criteria for antisocial personality disorder, the psychopathy checklist (PCL), as well as the 5-factor model of personality. References for each are listed below in the references section, however, for a brief overview, one could do a quick google image search for each term (Wikipedia also has a succinct overview of the psychopathy checklist).

The learning objectives for this episode are as follows:

  1. Develop a basic understanding of what is meant by antisocial personality and psychopathy

  2. Be aware of some of the classic traits and characteristics of antisocial/psychopathic personalities, and the general functions of these behaviors

  3. Describe the theoretical basis for the development of antisocial personalities

Guest Expert: Dr. Donald Lynam - Clinical psychologist, Investigator at Purdue University, Indiana

Produced and hosted by: Dr. Chase Thompson (PGY5 in Psychiatry)

Episode guidance and feedback: Dr. Gaurav Sharma (PGY4 in Psychiatry)

Interview Content:

0:50 - Learning objectives

1:40 - Dr. Lynam discusses his path to his current research interests

3:40 - Defining the terms antisocial personality disorder, sociopathy, psychopathy

8:30 - Discussing the possibility of antisocial behaviors without an antisocial personality

12:07 - Laying out the core features of antisocial individuals

18:20 - Antisocial personality from the perspective of the Big 5 personality model

22:00 - Discussion of the high-functioning psychopathy

25:06 - Prevalence of psychopathy

30:10 - Factors relevant to the development of psychopathy

39:30 - Prognosis and clinical trajectory

44:30 - Comorbid psychopathology

46:30 - Functions of antagonism or antisocial behaviours

49:30 - Treatment

References

  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. 2013.

  • Broidy LM, Nagin DS, Tremblay RE, Bates JE, Brame B, Dodge KA, Fergusson D, Horwood JL, Loeber R, Laird R, Lynam DR. Developmental trajectories of childhood disruptive behaviors and adolescent delinquency: a six-site, cross-national study. Developmental psychology. 2003 Mar;39(2):222.

  • Babiak P, Hare RD, McLaren T. Snakes in suits: When psychopaths go to work. New York: Harper; 2007 May 8.

  • Hare RD. The psychopathy checklist–Revised. Toronto, ON. 2003;412.

  • Hare RD, Harpur TJ, Hakstian AR, Forth AE, Hart SD, Newman JP. The revised psychopathy checklist: reliability and factor structure. Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1990 Sep;2(3):338.

  • Hare RD, Hart SD, Harpur TJ. Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Journal of abnormal psychology. 1991 Aug;100(3):391.

  • Jones SE, Miller JD, Lynam DR. Personality, antisocial behavior, and aggression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Criminal Justice. 2011 Jul 1;39(4):329-37.

  • Lynam DR. Early identification of chronic offenders: Who is the fledgling psychopath?. Psychological bulletin. 1996 Sep;120(2):209.

  • Miller JD, Lynam DR. Psychopathy and the five-factor model of personality: A replication and extension. Journal of personality assessment. 2003 Oct 1;81(2):168-78.

CPA Note: The views expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

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