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Psychopathy and Associated Factors Among Newly Admitted Prisoners in Correctional Institution Located in Bench Sheko and West Omo Zone, South West Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Wolde A, Tesfaye Y, Yitayih Y

Received 25 November 2020

Accepted for publication 19 February 2021

Published 1 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 261—273


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Asrat Wolde,1 Yonas Tesfaye,2 Yimenu Yitayih2

1Department of Psychiatry, Colleague of Medicine and Health Sciences, Mizan Tepi University, Mizan Aman, Ethiopia; 2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Asrat Wolde
Department of Psychiatry, Colleague of Medicine and Health Sciences, Mizan Tepi University, Mizan Aman, Ethiopia
Tel +251916389179
Email [email protected]

Background: Psychopathy is an emerging health and behavioral problem worldwide. Psychopathy is linked to risk substance use, maltreatment, violence, crime, and reoffending, but little is known about psychopathy in low income countries like Ethiopia. Therefore, we assessed the prevalence and factors associated with psychopathy among newly-admitted prisoners in Bench Sheko and West Omo zone correctional center, Mizan Aman, Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from April 20 to July 19, 2019, among 411 (N=422) newly-admitted Bench Sheko and West Omo zone correctional center prisoners by using a consecutive sampling technique. A semi-structured and interviewer administered psychopathy checklist revised tool was used for screening psychopathy. WHO, ASSIST tool was used for screening risk use of khat, tobacco, and alcohol. Trauma, maltreatment, and social support were assessed with a life event checklist, adverse life experience screening tool, and Oslo social support scale, respectively. In addition, Criminal and clinical history of the prisoner was also assessed. The data was entered into Epi-data 3.1 and exported to Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) Version 21 for statistical analysis. A logistic regression model was used. Variables with a p-value less than 0.05 in the final fitting model were declared as independent predictors of psychopathy.
Results: The prevalence of psychopathy was 24.3%. Childhood maltreatment (AOR=6, 95% CI=2.2– 17.5), risky khat use (AOR=4.6, 95% CI=2.4– 8.7), poor social support (AOR=3.5, 95% CI=1.9– 6.6), family history of imprisonment (AOR=3, 95% CI=1.5– 6), history of trauma (AOR=2.3, 95% CI=1.1– 4.8), and reoffending (AOR=2, 95% CI=1.1– 3.8) were positively associated variables with psychopathy.
Conclusion: Psychopathy is highly prevalent among newly-admitted prisoners. Integrated efforts involving relevant stakeholders are needed to design strategies for early screening of psychopathy to prevent reoffending, and management of risk substance use at admission is crucial.

Keywords: psychopathy, prisoners, crime, khat use, Ethiopia

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