Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McKinney, Cliff

Committee Member

DeShong, Hilary L.

Committee Member

Winer, Eric Samuel

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Psychopathy research continues to study the adaptability of psychopathic characteristics and differentiate between functional and dysfunctional features. The current study identified latent profiles in emerging adults and compared them across behavioral/cognitive correlates, functional outcomes, aggression types, and also examined gender differences. Results demonstrated that men scored higher across cold-heartedness and fearless dominance profiles, but not self-centered impulsivity. The low psychopathy group had lower proactive aggression than the high psychopathy group; no other differences were observed. Additionally, men and women in the high psychopathy group did not significantly differ regarding experienced outcomes. Lastly, higher psychopathy was not associated with higher proactive aggression when functioning was high, whereas it was associated when functioning was low; no other interactions were observed. Continuing to research how functional and dysfunctional characteristics differ between men and women and detecting these characteristics early to provide intervention could help ameliorate maladaptive traits, which could lead to better outcomes.