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Psychopathy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Psychopathy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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The personality construct of psychopathy is of interest because it identify a distinct group of criminals. It is for that, this study addressed the measurement of psychopathy across cultures using the French version of the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R). Most research on the PCL-R has been conducted in North America and Europa, none at all in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country torn by war and violence since its independence in 1960. The aim of this study was to test the cross-cultural validity of the PCL-R instrument by examining its psychometric properties among 336 male Congolese prisoners. The findings were that the psychometric properties of the scale among male Congolese were moderate, suggesting that the PCL-R has adequate internal consistency and reliability in the DRC. However, specific items had low item-total correlations and potential reasons for this in terms of the cultural meaning of symptoms and behaviours are discussed. Further work is needed to refine and validate the PCL-R in the DRC and to determine its proper cut-off score. Michel Okitapoy On'okoko, MD, Msc, Specialist Neuropsychiatrist, PhD candidate, Montreal, Canada.
A cross-cultural analysis in a post-crisis setting