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Title: Using mentalizing and psychopathy to explore a dimensional model of antisocial and borderline personality disorder
Author: Carlisle, J. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 415X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Part one of the thesis reviews the literature on whether antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and psychopathy represent distinct categories. This question was addressed by identifying studies with populations of individuals meeting criteria for ASPD and exploring the samples in terms of other constructs. Studies are divided into four areas; cluster analytic studies, studies of emotional processing, theory of mind and mentalizing, and executive functioning. The review suggests that those who meet criteria for ASPD represent a heterogeneous group, and that psychopathy is distinct from ASPD. Part two consists of an empirical paper which measures the constructs of mentalizing and psychopathy in a sample of people with and without diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD). This allowed for the testing of the mentalizing deficit theory of BPD, to explore mentalizing in an ASPD sample, and also to explore the construct of psychopathy, which has been used interchangeably with ASPD. BPD has also been suggested to be a phenotypic expression of psychopathy. Results supported a mentalizing deficit in BPD, and support the premise that ASPD is a heterogeneous group, and consists of at least two subtypes. The implications of findings in the context of a paradigm shift away from categorical towards a dimensional model of personality disorder are discussed, along with the limitations of the study and implications for future research. In part three a critical appraisal of the research process is presented. Issues of research in the probation setting, risk and ethical issues of working with this population, and also the practicalities of working alongside a large scale research project are discussed, in order to guide future research in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available