Purpose: Personality dysfunctions and psychopathy are central in most theories of crime. However, different offense types are likely driven by different motivational factors. Therefore, it is plausible that distinct offender groups differ in terms of personality features. In the present study, child molesters, (non-sex) violent offenders and community participants were compared on self-report measures of personality functioning in the self- and interpersonal domains (i.e., self-control, identity integration, responsibility, relational capacity, and social concordance), and psychopathic traits. Methods: Multivariate analyses of variance were conducted to examine differences between child molesters (N = 74), violent offenders (N = 64), and community participants (N = 238) on psychopathic traits and personality functioning. Results: Bivariate associations among personality features were largely consistent across groups. Violent offenders showed higher levels of personality dysfunctions and psychopathy, compared to both child molesters and community participants. Child molesters reported more selective impairments. Compared to community participants, child molesters reported significantly greater impairments in self-control, identity integration, responsibility, and relational capacities. Conclusions: The different personality profiles of the two offender groups corroborate the importance of applying different theoretical models and treatment approaches to child molesters and non-sex violent offenders.
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