n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Criminal thinking styles of offenders meeting the criteria for antisocial personalities in South Africa

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



To increase our understanding of antisocial personalities in the South African context, this study aims to identify whether offenders meeting the criteria for antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), dissocial personality disorder (DPD) and psychopathy are more prone to thinking styles that sustain a criminal lifestyle. The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS), the revised version of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI-R) and subscales measuring antisocial and dissocial personality disorder respectively from the DSM-IV and ICD-10 Personality Questionnaire (DIP-Q), were used to measure the extent of criminal thinking styles among 500 male maximum security offenders. The results indicate significant differences in the criminal thinking styles between participants meeting the criteria for ASPD and DPD and those not meeting the criteria for the disorders. These thinking styles contribute to the persistence of a criminal lifestyle and the possibility that the offenders will be reconvicted for additional crimes. Contrary to international research findings, psychopathic groups did not indicate any significant differences in criminal thinking styles. The results of this study warrant further investigation into the validity of international concepts in the South African context, as well as the lack of standardised measuring instruments.

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