The severe 5 percent and psychopathy

Authored by: Michael G. Vaughn , Brandy R. Maynard , Christopher P. Salas-Wright , Matt DeLisi

Routledge International Handbook of Psychopathy and Crime

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085169
eBook ISBN: 9781315111476
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315111476-34

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Abstract

The severe 5 percent and psychopathy construct, while not identical, are highly convergent. Both constructs embody severe and pronounced offending and problem behavior over large swaths of the life-course. The present chapter reviewed the epidemiology and etiology of the severe 5 percent, revealing the empirical robustness of asymmetry in offending and marshaling an argument for continued study, development, and testing of preventive interventions at the earliest stages possible that might forestall lengthy criminal careers. There is a large evidence-base on effective intervention; however, it is largely unknown the extent to which these interventions reduce the harmful behaviors of the severe 5 percent. It is likely that no intervention substantively improves the behavioral functioning of the severe 5 percent. While skepticism is understandable, it is an open question and, given the importance and staggering costs of the severe 5 percent, greater investment in testing the effects of extant and new approaches is critically needed.

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