ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (8): 1258-1268.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01258

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Familial Risk Factors for Psychopathy

YANG Minqi;WANG Guofang;HAN Peng;YANG Xiaohui   

  1. (1 School of Sociology, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing 100088, China) (2 Beijing Youth Politics College, Beijing 100102, China) (3Key laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China) (4University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)
  • Received:2014-02-26 Online:2014-08-15 Published:2014-08-15
  • Contact: WANG Guofang


Psychopathy, characterized by egocentricity, deceptiveness, impulsiveness, lack of empathy and lack of guilt, was defined as a personality disorder with a cluster of interpersonal, affective, behavioral and antisocial traits. Previous studies on psychopathy with particular emphasis on the physiological mechanisms have shown that psychopathy was highly hereditary. However, more and more studies highlighted the effect of family factors on the psychopathy. These factors mainly include: prenatal risk factors, broken family, poor parenting, unsafe parent-child attachment and childhood abuse. Future researches should focus on exploring the mechanisms of familial factors on subtypes of psychopathy, finding protective environmental factors that inhibit psychopathic expression and developing the biopsychosocial model of psychopathy, etc.

Key words: psychopathy, callous unemotional characteristics, familial risk factors