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Title: The problematic dual objective of Psychopathic Personality Disorder : a study of in-school rule-breaking behaviour
Author: Larmour, Simon Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 5275
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Objective This thesis aims to challenge the way in which Psychopathic Personality Disorder is defined and understood. There is a major emphasis on PPD's ability to predict (and some argue explain) criminal behaviour, which leads to a heterogeneity of individuals labelled with PPD and confusion about the direction conceptual development of the disorder takes. Method In total 1,057 pupils from 37 secondary schools and 2 pupil referral units from North London, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire completed the questionnaire. The aim was to capture the full spectrum of morality, rule-breaking behaviour, and PPD. By having a large number of pupils complete the questionnaire, knowledge could be gained on how morality interacts with PPD in leading towards or away from rule-breaking behaviour. Results Morality was shown to moderate the relationship between PPD and rule-breaking behaviour, indicating that those who scored high on PPD dimensions not only varied in their levels of morality but also varied in their levels of rule-breaking behaviour. These findings support the concerns raised by Ronald Blackburn (1988) and John Gunn (1998) about the heterogeneity of individuals with PPD. Predetermined morality within the concept of PPD is only present due to its relationship to rule-breaking behaviour and criminal behaviour. Conclusion There is heterogeneity among those who score high on PPD on the basis of in-school rule-breaking behaviour and morality. Furthermore, PPD is better understood within an SAT framework. These findings support Ronald Blackburn and John Gunn's concerns about the value of a PPD label. To further our understanding, it is suggested that the components of PPD be viewed and understood individually.
Supervisor: Wikström, Per-Olof Sponsor: Dawes Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Psychopathy ; Situational Action Theory ; Delinquency ; School