Multicultural study of psychopathy: An examination of Latin American differences

Chelsea Diane Spraberry Tekell, University of Texas at El Paso


Psychopathy is a personality disorder that is composed of characteristics that include poverty of empathy, lack of anxiety or fear, impulsive actions, and manipulation of others. The definition and measurement of psychopathy has changed over time and remains controversial. Ethnicity is an under researched area of psychopathy. In particular, previous psychopathy research has focused primarily on European American men. Despite increased attention to differences between African Americans and European Americans, Latin Americans continue to be overlooked, with only a small number of studies examining psychopathy among individuals from Latin ethnicities. The current study is among the first to examine psychopathy traits among Latino males. Features of Latin American culture that may affect psychopathy traits were explored, including interpersonal protective factors, increased egocentrism, machismo (culturally based masculinity), and interpersonal violence. This research was conducted with Latin American and European American male undergraduates. Results indicate that there are differences in psychopathy traits at the global scale and subscale level. In addition, machismo and psychopathy traits are moderately related. Psychopathy traits, machismo, and the interaction are predictive of violence in European Americans. However, psychopathy traits, machismo, and the interaction were less reliably predictive of violence in Latin Americans. Psychopathy traits in Latin Americans may not be related to correlates of psychopathy traits (i.e. aggression and violence). Overall, culturally based differences are significant and future research should give culture a more significant role.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Spraberry Tekell, Chelsea Diane, "Multicultural study of psychopathy: An examination of Latin American differences" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1564701.