Psychopathy and History of Traumatic Brain Injury: Evidence for Dual Pathways to Trauma

Jason R. Hall
Justin Jobelius
Noah C. Venables
Christopher J. Patrick


Prior research strongly suggests that antisocial behavior is associated with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, very little is known regarding the relationship between TBI and psychopathy. Therefore, the present study examined relationships among TBI history, PCL-R psychopathy, and measures of general externalizing tendencies and fearlessness in an offender sample. Results indicated that TBI history is associated with PCL-R Factor 2, but also with aspects of fearlessness. Regression analyses suggested the possibility of two independent pathways to TBI: one involving tendencies to seek dangerous activities for excitement, and the other associated with deficient behavioral control and recklessness.