Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 341–351 | Cite as

On the Relation Between General Intelligence and Psychopathic Traits: An Examination of Inpatient Adolescents

  • Nicholas Kavish
  • Cassandra Bailey
  • Carla Sharp
  • Amanda Venta
Original Article


A substantial literature has investigated relations between intelligence and psychopathic traits. At the construct level, findings have been mixed, with a small negative relation found. At the facet level however, a positive relation between verbal intelligence and the interpersonal facet of psychopathy, and a negative relation between verbal intelligence and the lifestyle factor of psychopathy emerge. To date, this research has largely neglected adolescents and prior research has focused on clinical and incarcerated populations, while failing to control for psychopathology. The current study sought to address these limitations by examining the relation between intelligence and psychopathy at the construct, facet, and trait level in a sample of inpatient adolescents. At the bivariate level, verbal intelligence was related to dishonest charm, unemotionality, impulsiveness, and manipulation. In regression analyses, however, verbal intelligence lost significance as a predictor of all but impulsiveness. Gender and severity of psychopathology accounted for most significant relations.


Psychopathy General intelligence Psychopathology Adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Kavish
    • 1
  • Cassandra Bailey
    • 1
  • Carla Sharp
    • 2
  • Amanda Venta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Social SciencesSam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and SciencesUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

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