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Psychopathic Processing and Personality Assessment (PAPA): exploring factor structure

Michael Lewis (School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Jane Ireland (School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Carol Ireland (School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Gail Derefaka (School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Kimberley McNeill (School of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Philip Birch (Centre for Law and Justice, Charles Sturt University – Port Macquarie Campus, Port Macquarie, Australia)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 9 July 2021

Issue publication date: 21 July 2021

103

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess whether the factor structure of the Psychopathic Processing and Personality Assessment (PAPA) could be confirmed in a large community sample (n = 1,850), comprising three subsamples of adult men (n = 189, 248 and 198) and women (n = 499, 469 and 247). It was predicted that the four-factor solution originally proposed in earlier studies (i.e. dissocial tendencies, emotional detachment, disregard for others, lack of sensitivity to emotion) would be replicated and produce a multi-dimensional structure consistent across sex.

Design/methodology/approach

This study explored the structure of the newly developed PAPA among a non-forensic sample.

Findings

Although exploratory analysis indicated a four-factor solution, the structure was different with “lack of sensitivity to emotion” being replaced by “responsiveness to perceived aggression.” Confirmatory analyses supported this structure among women, yet a three-factor structure was preferred for men that excluded emotional detachment.

Research limitations/implications

This study highlights the importance of attending to sex differences when assessing for psychopathy.

Originality/value

This is the first confirmatory factor analysis completed on the PAPA, with the findings conveying its value when assessing for psychopathic traits among a community sample.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclosure statement. No conflicts of interest are noted. There has also been no financial interest or benefit arisen from this work. Similarly, the work received no funding.Thanks to Laura Room, Carly Coultas, Ellen Green, Jessica Newsome, Desiree McClelland, Lionie Edwards, Jessica McNabb, Hauwa Onifade and Jenna Fergus for their support with data collection.

Citation

Lewis, M., Ireland, J., Ireland, C., Derefaka, G., McNeill, K. and Birch, P. (2021), "Psychopathic Processing and Personality Assessment (PAPA): exploring factor structure", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 157-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCP-03-2021-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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