Adult Bullying and Primary and Secondary Psychopathic Traits: Insights from a Community Sample

Wendt, Guilherme Welter and Jones Bartoli, Alice. 2018. Adult Bullying and Primary and Secondary Psychopathic Traits: Insights from a Community Sample. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 27(2), pp. 131-146. ISSN 1092-6771 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This study aimed to comprehend the relationship between primary and secondary psychopathy variants and bullying behaviors in adults (a); to test for mediation effects of the experiences of victimization in strengthening the bonds between bullying and psychopathy (b); and to explore how far gender and psychopathic variants predict bullying (c). Results showed that psychopathy (both primary and secondary) and gender (male) significantly predicted bullying perpetrator behaviors. These same predictors were also significant in explaining total involvement with bullying; primary psychopathy displayed, however, better explanatory power. Being a victim of bullying also mediated the relationship between psychopathic variants and bullying perpetrating. The magnitude of the correlations between bullying and both psychopathic variants detected in this study were bigger than the average reported in studies with children and adolescents, which could inform about greater severity of these behaviors in adult life. Specifically, findings from regression analyses suggest that components of cold-blooded psychopathy could be driving the engagement of this sample with aggressive behaviors. Implications of these findings, along with limitations and directions for further research are discussed.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Aggression, bullying, college students, primary psychopathy, psychopathy, secondary psychopathy, victimization

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Unit for School and Family Studies


21 September 2017Accepted
27 October 2017Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2017 16:25

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:35

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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