PSYC 2740 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Experiential Avoidance, Psychopathy

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
of 4
Lecture 19 Personality Disorders
November 27th, 2012
Psychopathy and the Legal System
20% of the prison population meets criteria for psychopathy; 50% or greater of violent crimes are perpetrated by
psychopaths; psychopathy is often used to recidivism (likelihood of re-offending).
Psychopathy & Antisocial PD
Most people who would meet the criteria for psychopathy also meet criteria for ASPD; but most who have ASPD do not
meet criteria for psychopathy.
Includes anti-social behaviour but more emphasis on
lack of empathy, callous social attitudes, glib, superficial
Extends across lifespan (through traits do reduce a bit)
Not a current diagnosis
Antisocial Personality Disorder
More focus on the behaviours that are antisocial.
Behaviours tend to reduce over the lifespan (as do some
DSM-IV-TR diagnosis
Avoidant Personality
People feel like they are not good enough; feelings of inadequacy; sensitive to criticism, any kind of remark
(constructive) is going to make them very sensitive and wrong; restricts activities to avoid embarrassments; low self-
Dependant Personality
Excessive need to be taken care of by others; extremely submissive (more vulnerable to being taken advantage of);
constantly making sure that other will be there for them (seeks reassurance from others); rarely takes initiate and rarely
disagrees with others (more likely to follow suit); does not work well independently (need direction); may tolerate abuse
from others to obtain support (fear of being alone).
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
Not the same as OCD; preoccupied with order (need to take the same route to work every day); strives for perfection;
devoted to work, seeks little leisure time or friendship (spend a lot of time doing work, have very high standards);
frequently miserly or stingy (not loose with their money or posessions); rigid and inflexible, stubborn (can’t be swayed);
can become distraught if things don’t go their way. *most common personality disorder
Lecture 20 NSSI and Personality
Nonsuicidal Self-injury (NSSI): the intentional destruction of one’s body tissue in the absence of conscious suicidal
intent and for purposes that are not socially or culturally sanctioned or accepted; not including tattoos or piercing.
Cutting Scratching/Scraping Burning
Wound interference Burning Hitting/bruising
Self-embedding: kids had embedded paperclips or staples into their skins
Onset and Sex Differences
Age at onset typically early-mid adolescence (can start at any age).
Sex differences no differences in overall rates but there are sex differences.
Methods females may cut more; males may burn/hit more.
Body location females: wrists, thighs, more repetitive; males: hands (often hitting things).
13.9 21.4% of youth and young adults have self-injured (based on even doing it one time).
University students: approx. 17% of students; 1 in 6; of this percent, 70% did it more than once (females tended to
repeat more than males).
NSSI & Emotionality
Negative emotionality: compare those who currently self-injure previously self-injured never self-injured
Those who currently self-injure report more negative emotionality than those who previously self-injured, but those
who never self-injured have less emotional emotionality compared to those who previously did; those who self-injure
may have more difficulty tolerating negative emotions and wish to escape them sooner.
NSSI & Experiential Avoidance
Experiential avoidance: any behaviour used to avoid or escape from unwanted internal experience or their triggers
(certain interactions or individuals that may cause discomfort); difficulty regulating emotion.
Experiential Avoidance Model
Stressor (receiving a poor grade, break up, death); some people react more to stressors than others.
Heightened emotional response high negative emotionality (experience greated degree of negative emotion;
sometimes they forget that it goes away with time) + emotion dysregulation = Experiential Avoidance
*Can then lead to NSSI; temporary relief acts to reinforce self-injury.
Some Reasons for NSSI
Affect regulation: most common; to relieve unwanted negative emotions; short term relief, leads to repeat.
Anti-dissociation: to stop feeling emotionally numb, to feel “real” & alleviate other dissociative experiences.
Anti-suicide: to avoid/replace the urge to die by suicide; to replace their more lethal urge.
Interpersonal communication: telling others that one is in pain, to get help from others, to get back at others; if you
can’t tell people you’re in pain or need help.
Self-punishment: second more common; to express hatred towards oneself, punish oneself and damage one’s body.
NSSI & Impulsivity
Glenn & Klonsky: examined impulsivity in university students with and without NSSI history; specifically, subtypes of
impulsivity were investigated
Urgency: making rash decisions when emotionally upset
Perseverance: ability to stay on a task until completed; more ability to not be distracted
Premeditation: stopping an action so a plan can be made.
Sensation seeking: tendency to seek adventure/excitement; usually more impulsive.
- NSSI group had much higher urgency scores
- NSSI group had less premeditation and more sensation seeking
- Low perseverance was associated with more recent and frequent NSSI
Conclusion: the major differences in impulsivity may related to controlling urges when experiencing negative emotions
vs. impulsivity in general.
Implications: important to assess various subtypes of impulsivity & to teach emotion/urge resistance strategies when
treating NSSI; they cannot control the emotions they feel but can be taught how to deal with them.
NSSI & Suicide Risk
Longer history of NSSI Many NSSI methods no pain at time of NSSI NSSI occurs in isolation.
Suicide and Impulsivity
McGirr et al. 2008
Participants: examined impulsivitiy in 645 patients aged 18-87 who died by suicide.
Method: psychological autopsy; after death, interviewing family, friends, and collecting medical/psychiatric records to
get data.
Main finding: higher impulsivity played a more significant role in the suicide of younger individuals; and this was less the
case the older the individual.
Intrapersonal-Psychological Model of Suicide
Suicide occurs IF one has desire to die and the means to do so.
Desire to die: viewing yourself as a burden to others (perceived burdensomeness) and feeling social disconnected from
others or to something larger than oneself (thwarted belongingness).
Means to do so: fearlessness from prolonged/enduring psychological pain; this is higher in those who have a history of
attempted suicide and/or NSSI this may involve impulsivity.
Risk: perceived burdensome and thwarted belongingness at one time paired with fear.
Suicide and Intervention
After comprehensive risk assessment:
Emotional regulation skills: teaching them how to cope when they do have the feelings.
Motivation interviewing: tries to target the ambivalence people have about stopping.
- The importance of personality in our daily lives; it impacts
o How we understand ourselves; our self-concepts, self-esteems, our social self.
o How we relate to others and how are reactions determine how people relate to us.
o Education, employment choice and job making decisions.
o Our legal system and criminality; who might commit crime
o Our physical health; personality can have to do with illness and susceptibility.
o Mental health and well being
o NSSI and suicide
Exam Review
December 12th, 11:30 am. ROZH 104
80 multiple choice questions
Since midterm 2
10 questions per class