Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Leonard Handler

Committee Members

Debora Baldwin, John Lounsbury, Lois Presser


Personality type and murder have been linked via several studies on Sadistic personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, and psychopathy. The present study focused on the relationship between Narcissistic personality disorder and homicidal propensity. The relationship was examined using a sample of 490 inmates of the Colorado Department of Corrections. The subjects specific to this study were 215 inmates convicted of homicidal crimes including manslaughter, first degree murder, second degree murder, and second degree murder-crime of passion. A control group of approximately 275 inmates was included. The control group consisted of a random sample of crimes with the exception of homicide. Elevations on the Narcissistic, Sadistic, and Antisocial indices of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III were expected from the homicidal subjects . Results showed small but significant differences were found between minorities and whites on years of education and IQ. Significant differences were between the crime-groups on years of education and age. In terms of validity, both the Desirability (raw score p = .00) and Debasement (raw score p = .02) modifying indices distinguished significantly among the Murder and Nonviolent groups. In relation to personality and crime committed, the Nonviolent (mean BR = 68) offenders scored significantly higher on the Narcissism scale than the Other Violent (mean BR = 66, raw score p = .04) and Homicidal offenders (mean BR = 66, raw score p = .02). No significant difference was found between the crime-groups on the Sadistic or Antisocial scales. Significant differences were found among the crime-groups with the Schizoid and Dependent scales. A discriminant function analysis was also conducted to determine which variables predicted membership in the Nonviolent, Other Violent, and murder groups. No predictors were found.

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