A clinical investigation of malingering and psychopathy in hospitalized insanity
C. B. Gacono, J. R. Meloy, K. Sheppard, E. Speth and A. Roske,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
23(3): 387-97, 1995.
This study compares Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) scores, DSM-III-R diagnoses, and
select behavioral indices between hospitalized insanity acquittees (N = 18) and hospitalized insanity
acquittees who successfully malingered (N = 18). The malingerers were significantly more likely to
have a history of murder or rape, carry a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder or sexual
sadism, and produce greater PCL-R factor 1, factor 2, and total scores than insanity acquittees who
did not malinger. The malingerers were also significantly more likely to be verbally or physically
assaultive, require specialized treatment plans to control their aggression, have sexual relations with
female staff, deal drugs, and be considered an escape risk within the forensic hospital. These findings
are discussed within the context of insanity statutes and the relevance of malingering, psychopathy,
and treatability to future policy concerning the disposition of insanity acquittees.