Psychometric characteristics of the Bulgarian version of the levenson self-report psychopathy scale in a sample of substance dependent individuals


Background: Psychopathy and substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly comorbid, and their co-occurrence is associated with higher relapse rates and increased risk of violent offending. Although the relationships between psychopathy and SUDs have received some attention in the literature, studies on the validity of psychopathy measures in substance-dependent individuals (SDIs) are scarce. The aims of the present study were to examine the psychometric properties of the Bulgarian version of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP) in a sample of SDIs.

Method: We tested 615 participants: 106 mono-dependent heroin users, 91 mono-dependent amphetamine users, 123 polysubstance users, 295 controls. We explored the factor structure of the Bulgarian version of the LSRP, examined its reliability and validity, tested for group differences between SDIs and controls and explore its diagnostic utility relative to the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV).

Results: Confirmatory factor analyses replicated the tri-factor structure of the LSRP. The scale demonstrated acceptable reliability and validity in the current sample. SDIs scored significantly higher than controls on the total LSRP scale and its subscales. ROC-curve analysis revealed that the LSRP is an acceptable tool for measuring psychopathy in SDIs before conducting the more time-consuming PCL-interview.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the LSRP is a valid and useful measure of psychopathy in SDIs. Therefore, it could be used in the screening process prior to enrolment in treatment for SUDs. Thus, it could inform personality tailored interventions, aimed to increase the treatment effectiveness and reduce the risk of relapse and violent offending among SDIs.


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