New study: No clear relationship between twins and psychopathy

A new case study explains the case of a 18-year old twin diagnosed with psychopathy.

By Kate Phillipa Clark

It’s been established for some time that genes play a significant role in the makeup of those people, who are eventually labelled psychopaths. But where does that leave identical twins who are very similar genetically? A new case study published in European Psychiatry,*  explains the case of a 18-year old twin diagnosed with psychopathy. The 18-year-old twin was in prison for several crimes such as drug dealing, violent theft and multiple aggressions.

* European Psychiatry is the official journal of the European Psychiatric Association. The European Psychiatry Association is the largest international association of psychiatrists in Europe.

Exhibited cruelty to animals

The 18-year old male twin caught early psychological and psychiatric attention for disruptive behavior as a child. His behavior was described as aggressive, he lied repeatedly, seemed low on empathy and showed indifference to punishment. He tried escaping from home, defied his parents and teachers, exhibited cruelty against animals, committed robbery, vandalism and had drug abuse issues. The researchers used the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) to evaluate his psychopathology. Out of a maximum score of 40, the cutoff for psychopathy is 30. The 18-year old twin got 34 points.

Twin brother with normal personality

The researches concluded that the 18-year old twin is a psychopath. His twin brother, on the other hand, is described as having a normal personality and as being a brilliant student.
The twin boys came from a well-structured family, none of them with criminal history or mental disorders. The researches concluded based on the case study that there is no clear relationship between twins and psychopathy.

About the Author

Kate Phillipa Clark

Kate Phillipa Clark has a bachelor in Journalism and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication. She is an identical twin and so is her father.

 

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