Study’s have revealed that children who grow up to become criminal psychopaths later in life were raised by parents or caregivers with two “extreme” parenting styles. High-security prisoners were interviewed by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology and they found that many had a history of either total parental neglect, or rigidly controlling, authoritarian parents.

The definition of a psychopath is any person who suffers from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior. Psychopaths are defined by their lack of empathy and have a tendency to manipulate people without any guilt.

The heartbreaking fact is that most criminal psychopaths also had a history of grotesque physical and/or psychological abuse during childhood. “Without exception, these people have been injured in the company of their caregivers. And many of the descriptions made it clear that their later ruthlessness was an attempt to address this damage, but in an inappropriate or bad way,” commented author Dr. Aina Gullhaugen

“If you think of a scale of parental care that goes from nothing, the absence of care, all the way to the totally obsessive parent, most parents are in the middle. The same applies to how we feel about parental control. On a scale from ‘not caring’ all the way to ‘totally controlling,’ most have parents end up in the middle,” Dr. Aina Gullhaugen added as she explained the types of parents criminal psychopaths typically have. “More than half of the psychopaths I have studied reported that they had been exposed to a parenting style that could be placed on either extreme of these scales. Either they lived in a situation where no one cared, where the child is subjected to total control and must be submissive, or the child has been subjected to a neglectful parenting style.”

There are many children who experience awful upbringings and don’t go on to become psychopaths and we can not blame parents for everything, but it does play a large part in the formation and structure of a child’s developing brain.

Personality traits of a psychopath are not always the callous killer who is obviously a criminal of some sort. The typical psychopath functions very well in society without any cause for alarm. In many cases people with psychopathic traits are highly successful – in fact they are believed to occupy three and four per cent of senior positions. They go undetected as effective leaders and good decision makers. They can be very charming, charismatic, fearless, and exhibit a massive ego but they lack a conscience. Their human conscience has been seared in some way or another, according to Dr Kevin Dutton, a research psychologist at the University of Oxford. There is a major lack of behavioral control and a tendency to boredom.

Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the University of Oxford and author of the Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success. Dr Dutton revealed the jobs with the most psychopaths working in them after conducting an extensive survey. Topping the list were CEOs followed by lawyers and those working in TV and radio. Also featured on the list were surgeons, salespersons, journalists and police officers.

Psychopaths are spread throughout the population and there are many degrees of it ranging from extreme criminal psychopaths to everyday people who don’t even know they may be on the spectrum. It can be dangerous to be unaware of this and range on the very top of scale. These individuals lack the emotion and empathy that commonly stops people from committing crime. Crimes committed by psychopaths range from murder to mentally, verbally or physically abusing a loved one. Either extreme is just as bad and occur mainly because these individuals are so emotionally disconnected that they function as if other people are objects to be manipulated and destroyed without any concern for human feelings or emotions.

None-the-less, there is always hope for individuals who suffer from psychopathic tendencies. If they discover that their behavior falls on the spectrum and they are able to take a moral inventory of their inability to feel for others then the first step is admitting it to themselves. Most importantly it is not a psychopaths fault for their inability to feel organic human emotions especially if they experienced an abusive upbringing or non existent caregivers. However, seeking help through a trained professional can always heal the past in a safe environment and lead one back to experiencing what it’s like to be a complete feeling, loving, positively functioning human being, once again.