Psychopathic personality traits, risky sexual behavior, and psychological adjustment among college-age women

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Psychopathic personality traits are associated with risky sexual behavior (RSB), which itself is associated with various negative consequences. The present study extended previous cross-sectional research by examining whether psychopathic personality traits predicted RSB among women and whether these traits moderated associations between RSB and post-RSB psychological adjustment. Seventy-seven female undergraduates completed self-report measures of psychopathic personality traits and RSB at baseline as well as measures of positive affect, negative affect, state self-esteem, shame, and guilt each week for eight consecutive weeks. Multilevel models revealed that higher levels of Self-Centered Impulsivity were associated with more RSB and that psychopathic personality traits moderated the associations between RSB and post-RSB psychological adjustment such that women with high levels of Self-Centered Impulsivity but low levels of Fearless Dominance reported more positive psychological adjustment when they were engaging in relatively high levels of RSB. These findings suggest that RSB may serve an emotion regulatory function and may also boost self-esteem among women low in Fearless Dominance but high in Self-Centered Impulsivity. © 2014 Guilford Publications, Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fulton, JJ; Marcus, DK; Zeigler-Hill, V

Published Date

  • February 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 143 - 168

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0736-7236

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1521/jscp.2014.33.2.143

Citation Source

  • Scopus