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The Relevance of Antisociality and Psychopathy for the Risk Assessment in Sexual Offenders

Dahlnym Yoon


The most influential operationalization of psychopathy using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) considers psychopathy as a personality disorder defined as a combination of two factors: Psychopathic core personality traits (Factor 1) and antisociality (Factor 2), whereas antisociality showed stronger association with recidivism. Due to the great overlap between the diagnostic criteria of the Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) and the PCL-R Factor 2, these two have been frequently equated in previous studies investigating antisociality and psychopathy among sexual offenders. The talk will provide a brief overview on both variable-centered and person-centered approaches regarding research on antisociality and psychopathy. Further, differentiated analyses using both the ASPD diagnosis and PCL-R in a representative sample of Austrian sexual offenders (N = 1,123) with an average time-at-risk of 10.1 years will be presented to discuss the incremental value of the PCL-R above and beyond the dichotomous diagnosis of the ASPD in applied risk assessment.


Dr. Dahlnym Yoon Ph.D. is one of the researchers in the Dark tetrad Assessment and Research Team Hagen at the FernUniversitaet in Hagen, Germany. She is in charge of teaching and supervision of Master’s and Doctoral theses and currently working on a research project, in which the construct validity of various measures of psychopathy is being examined. She gives trainings for professionals in forensic mental health and correctional systems regarding applied forensic assessment – especially on protective factors –, and conducts assessment of offenders herself as forensic psychologist for district court in Berlin. Previously, she worked in research projects on evaluation of correctional socio-therapeutic treatment programs in Hamburg and Berlin and also in an international research project funded by Korean Institute of Criminology (KIC) to improve the current criminal justice policy for sexual offenders in South Korea.