Purpose: The present study aimed to advance our understanding of the relevance of emotion dysregulation (ED) for psychopathy. Methods: Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) were employed to examine person- and variable-centered associations between ED domains and psychopathic traits in a moderately-large (N = 268) sample of violent male offenders. Results: LPA results indicated a 3-class solution with offenders most accurately classified based on ED levels (low, medium, high) across domains. The three ED subgroups revealed linear positive associations with psychopathy total, affective, and lifestyle facet scores, such that elevated levels of these traits were found in subgroups with greater ED. A similar linear trend emerged for the antisocial – but not interpersonal – facet, in-line with recent studies showing positive associations between executive functioning and interpersonal features of psychopathy. In SEM analyses, a latent ED factor positively predicted a super-ordinate psychopathy factor, controlling for psychopathological distress. Conclusions: Taken together, current findings support the notion that ED involves broad difficulties across emotion regulation domains, which vary by degree rather than in kind, and that these difficulties have linear positive relations with psychopathic traits among violent offenders.
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