1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Section of Neurology, Psychiatry and Sensory Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Section of Neurology, Psychiatry and Sensory Sciences, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Convincing evidence demonstrates that psychopathy is associated with premeditated aggression. However, studies have failed to explain why this association exists and whether socio-cognitive functions, such as mentalizing, could explain the relation. This cross-sectional study investigates, in 108 patients with schizophrenia, the association of psychopathy and mentalizing abilities with premeditated and impulsive aggression and probes the nature of their influence on these specific aggression patterns. Patients' engagement in premeditated aggression was associated with diminishing mentalizing and increasing psychopathic tendencies. Moreover, mediation analyses reveal that the ability to attribute mental states to others mediates the relation between psychopathy and type of aggression. This mediation is facilitated by a specific mentalizing profile characterized by the presence of intact cognitive and deficient emotional mentalizing capacities. This study is the first to report a mediating effect of mentalizing on the relationship between psychopathy and type of aggression in schizophrenia. Implications of these results are discussed.
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2014, Vol 202, Issue 1, p. 55-63
Adult; Affect; Aggression; Antisocial Personality Disorder; Cognition; Cross-Sectional Studies; Emotions; Female; Great Britain; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Schizophrenia; Schizophrenic Psychology; Severity of Illness Index; Theory of Mind; Wechsler Scales