Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wayne Gillespie

Committee Members

John T. Whitehead, Steven J. Ellwanger


Psychopathic personality is associated with a myriad of social and behavioral problems including violence, criminal activity, and overall failure to conform to social standards. In this study, psychopathic and antisocial personality traits are measured in a sample of college students via self-report surveys using questions derived from Hare's Psychopathic Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; 1991). Reliability and factor analyses were used to validate the inventory and create factor-based indices that were used to predict antisocial behavioral outcomes including violence, seeking revenge on persecutors, and suicidal ideation, in addition to other analogous and deviant behaviors. Findings showed a relationship between personality and behavior indicating that characteristics of one's personality may aid in the prediction and prevention of deviant behaviors. Implications for public policy, including the identification of traits that may be related to the propensity for such behaviors, are reviewed in the context of school shootings such as the incident at Columbine High School.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.