Prevalence of Psychopathy in the General Adult Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis



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Sanz García, Ana and Gesteira Santos, Clara and Sanz Fernández, Jesús and García Vera, María Paz (2021) Prevalence of Psychopathy in the General Adult Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 12 . ISSN 1664-1078

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The main objective of this study was to systematically and meta-analytically review the scientific literature on the prevalence of psychopathy in the general adult population. A search in PsycInfo, MEDLINE, and PSICODOC identified 15 studies published as of June 2021. Altogether, 16 samples of adults totaling 11,497 people were evaluated. Joint prevalence rates were calculated using reverse variance heterogeneity models. Meta-regression analyses were conducted to examine whether the type of instrument, sex, type of sample, and country influenced prevalence. The meta-analytical results obtained allow us to estimate the prevalence rate of psychopathy in the general adult population at 4.5%. That being said, this rate varies depending on the participants' sex (higher in males), the type of sample from the general population (higher in samples from organizations than in community samples or university students), and the type of instrument used to define psychopathy. In fact, using the PCL-R, which is currently considered the “gold standard” for the assessment and definition of psychopathy, the prevalence is only 1.2%. These results are discussed in the context of the different theoretical perspectives and the existing problems when it comes to defining the construct of psychopathy.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:psychopathy, prevalence, general population, meta-analysis, PCL-R
Palabras clave (otros idiomas):psicopatía, prevalencia, población general, metaanálisis, PCL-R, psicópata
Subjects:Medical sciences > Medicine > Psychiatry
Medical sciences > Psychology
Medical sciences > Psychology > Differential psychology
Medical sciences > Psychology > Clinical psychology and psychodiagnostics
Medical sciences > Psychology > Forensic psychology
Medical sciences > Psychology > Personality
ID Code:68084
Deposited On:04 Oct 2021 07:41
Last Modified:04 Oct 2021 07:41

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