Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 217–228 | Cite as

The Association Between Psychopathic Personality Traits and Victimization and Exposure to Violence in a Sample of Saudi Arabian Youth

  • Kevin M. Beaver
  • Mohammed Said Al-Ghamdi
  • Ahmed Nezar Kobeisy
  • Fathiyah H. Alqurashi
  • Eric J. Connolly
  • Joseph A. Schwartz
Original Paper


Psychopathic personality traits have been shown to increase the odds of a wide range of antisocial outcomes. Very little research, however, has examined the association between psychopathy and the risk of personal victimization. The current study address this gap in the literature by examining the association between scores on the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy scale and a self-reported measure of victimization by using cross-sectional data drawn from a sample of youth residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (N = 311). The results revealed a positive and statistically significant association between LSPR scores and the odds of being victimized. Additional analyses revealed that two mediators—arrest history and exposure to delinquent peers—were related to personal victimization, but neither of these measures mediated the effects of LSPR scores on victimization. Whether these findings would generalize to other nations remains an issue awaiting future research.


Psychopathy Saudi Arabia Self-control Victimization Youth 



This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant No. 1-125-1433 /HiCi. The authors, therefore, acknowledge the DSR for technical and financial support.


  1. 1.
    Babiak P, Hare RD: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths go to Work. New York, Harper Collins, 2005.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Beaver KM, Boutwell BB, Barnes JC, Vaughn MG, DeLisi M: The association between psychopathic personality traits and criminal justice outcomes: Results from a nationally representative sample of males and females. Crime and Delinquency, 2015. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Beaver KM, Nedelec JL, Silva Costa C, Poersch AP, Stelmach MC, Freddi MC, Gagos JM, Boccio C: The association between psychopathic personality traits and health-related outcomes. Journal of Criminal Justice 42:399–407, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beaver KM, Wright JP, DeLisi M: Delinquent peer group formation: Evidence of a gene x environment correlation. The Journal of Genetic Psychology 169:227–244, 2008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brinkley CA, Schmitt WA, Smith SS, Newman JP: Construct validation of a self-report psychopathy scale: Does Levenson’s self-report psychopathy scale measure the same constructs as Hare’s psychopathy checklist-revised? Personality and Individual Differences 31:1021–1038, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Broidy LM, Dady JK, Crandall CS, Skalar DP, Jost PF: Exploring demographic, structural, and behavioral overlap among homicide offenders and victims. Homicide Studies, 10:155–180, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Christiansen EJ, Evans WP: Adolescent victimization: Testing models of resiliency by gender. Journal of Early Adolescence 25:298–316, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cleckley H: The Mask of Sanity. St. Louis, Mosby, 1941.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cohen LE, Felson M: Social change and crime rate trends: A routine activity approach. American Sociological Review 44:588–608, 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dahle K-P: Strengths and limitations of actuarial prediction of criminal reoffence in a German prison sample: A comparative study of LSI-R, HCR-20 and PCL-R. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 29:431–442, 2006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    DeLisi M: Psychopathy is the unified theory of crime. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 7:256–273, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    DeLisi M, Vaughn MG: Still Psychopathic After All These Years. In: DeLisi M, Conis PJ (Eds) Violent Offenders: Theory, Research, Policy, and Practice, 2nd edn, Burlington, Jones and Bartlett, pp. 95–108, 2012.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    DeLisi M, Vaughn MG, Beaver KM, Wright JP: The Hannibal Lecter myth: Psychopathy and verbal intelligence in the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 32:169–177, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dolan M, O’Malley K, McGregor K: The role of psychopathic traits and substance abuse in predicting violent victimization in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Personality and Mental Health 7:28–38, 2013.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fanti KA, Kimonis ER: Bullying and victimization: The role of conduct problems and psychopathic traits. Journal of Research on Adolescence 22:617–631, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Frick PJ, Kimonis ER, Dandreaux DM, Farell JM: The 4 year stability of psychopathic traits in non-referred youth. Behavioral Sciences and the Law 21:713–736, 2003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gendreau P, Goggin C, Smith P: Is the PCL-R really the “unparalleled” measure of offender risk? A lesson in knowledge cumulation. Criminal Justice and Behavior 29:397–426, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Grasmick HG, Tittle CR, Bursik RJ, Arneklev BJ: Testing the core empirical implications of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 30:5–29, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hare RD: Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. New York, Guilford, 1993.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kennedy LW, Forde DR: Routine activities and crime: An analysis of victimization in Canada. Criminology 28:137–152, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lauritsen JL, Laub JH: Understanding the Link Between Victimization and Offending: New Reflections on an Old Idea. In: Hough M, Maxfield M (Eds) Crime Prevention Studies, Vol. 22, Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 55–75, 2007.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Levenson MR, Kiehl KA, Fitzpatrick C: Assessing psychopathic attributes in a non-institutionalized population. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 68:151–158, 1995.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Loney BR, Taylor J, Butler MA, Iacono WG: Adolescent psychopathy features: 6-year temporal stability and the prediction of externalizing symptoms during the transition to adulthood. Aggressive Behavior 33:242–252, 2007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Luckenbill DF: Criminal homicide as a situated transaction. Social Problems 25:176–186, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lynam DR, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Raine A, Loeber R, Stouthamer-Loeber M: Adolescent psychopathy and the big five: results from two samples. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 33:431–443, 2005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lynam DR, Charnigo R, Moffitt TE, Raine A, Lober R, Stouthamer-Loeber M: The stability of psychopathy across adolescence. Development and Psychopathology 21:1133–1153, 2009.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lynam DR, Derefinko KJ: Psychopathy and Personality. In Patrick CJ (Ed) Handbook of Psychopathy, New York: Guilford, pp. 133–155, 2006.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Menard S: Short- and long-term consequences of adolescent victimization. Youth Violence Research Bulletin 1–16, 2002.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Miethe TD, Stafford MC, Long JS: Social differentiation in criminal victimization: A test of routine activities/lifestyle theories. American Sociological Review 52:184–194, 1987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Patrick CJ: Handbook of Psychopathy. New York, Guilford, 2006.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sampson RJ, Lauritsen JL: Deviant lifestyles, proximity to crime, and the offender-victim link to personal violence. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 27:110–139, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sampson RJ, Raudenbush SW, Earls F: Neighborhoods and violent crime: A multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science 277:918–924, 1997.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Schreck CJ: Criminal victimization and low self-control: An extension and test of a general theory of crime. Justice Quarterly 16:633–654, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Schreck CJ, Fisher BS: Specifying the influence of family and peers on violent victimization: Extending routine activities and lifestyle theories. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 19:1021–1041, 2004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Schreck CJ, Fisher BS, Miller JM: The social context of violent victimization: A study of the delinquent peer effect. Justice Quarterly 21:23–47, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Schreck CJ, Wright RA, Miller JM: A study of individual and situational antecedents of violent victimization. Justice Quarterly 19:159–180, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Smith DA, Jarjoura GR: Household characteristics, neighborhood composition and victimization risk. Social Forces 68:621–640, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Snyder HN, Sickmund M: Juvenile offenders and victims: 1999 national report. Washington: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stewart EA, Elifson KW, Sterk CE: Integrating the general theory of crime into an explanation of violent victimization among female offenders. Justice Quarterly 21:159–182, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Unnever JD, Cornell DG: Bullying, self-control, and ADHD. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 18:129–147, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wheeler S, Book A, Costello K: Psychopathic traits and perceptions of victim vulnerability. Criminal Justice and Behavior 36:635–648, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Widiger TA: Psychopathy and DSM-IV Psychopathology. In: Patrick CJ (Ed) Handbook of Psychopathy, New York, Guilford, pp. 156–171, 2006.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Wolfgang ME: Victim precipitated criminal homicide. Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science 48:1–11, 1957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wright RT, Decker S: Burglars on the Job: Streetlife and Residential Break-Ins. Boston, Northeastern University Press, 1994.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. Beaver
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohammed Said Al-Ghamdi
    • 2
  • Ahmed Nezar Kobeisy
    • 2
  • Fathiyah H. Alqurashi
    • 2
  • Eric J. Connolly
    • 3
  • Joseph A. Schwartz
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Social and Humanities ResearchKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Criminal JusticePennsylvania State UniversityAbingtonUSA
  4. 4.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaLincolnUSA

Personalised recommendations