Assortative Mating for Psychopathy Components and its Effects on the Relationship Quality in Intimate Partners

Igor Kardum, Jasna Hudek-Knezevic, Asmir Gračanin, Nermina Mehic


In three studies, we examined assortative mating for psychopathy components as well as its effects on the relationship quality in intimate partners. Compared to the original structure we confirmed three factors of psychopathy: criminal tendencies (CT), erratic lifestyle (ELS) and interpersonal manipulation (IM), while callous affect (CA) was not replicated. Hypotheses regarding positive versus negative assortment, initial assortment versus convergence, and active assortment versus social homogamy were tested. All hypotheses were examined using both variable-centered approach (VCA) and couple-centered approach (CCA). We found moderate positive assortment between intimate partners in psychopathy as a latent construct estimated by structural modelling. Furthermore, positive assortment for all three components of psychopathy was found either by using only VCA (CT), only CCA (IM) or both approaches (ELS). Additionally, initial assortment rather than convergence hypothesis and active assortment rather than social homogamy hypothesis was confirmed for all three psychopathy components, with a slight tendency towards divergence and social homogamy. We explored the effects of similarity in psychopathy components on the women and men' relationship quality by using profile similarity and polynomial regression analyses. Profile similarity in IM was significantly positively related to women's relationship quality, while the results of the polynomial regression analyses were more complex, and showed that only (dis)similarity in CT did not exert any effect on women and men's relationship quality. Greater disagreement between women and men's ELS was related with more sharp decrease of women's relationship quality, while men's relationship quality decreased at the higher levels of women and men's ELS. Greater disagreement between women and men's IM results in a lower women's relationship quality, while women and men's relationship quality was higher when women's IM was higher than men's.


psychopathy components; assortative mating; initial assortment; active assortment; relationship quality

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