Childhood stress, life history, psychopathy, and sociosexuality

Emily Anne Patch, Aurelio José Figueredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper explores how Early Life Stress (ELS) and Life History (LH) strategy impact personality and attitudes toward infidelity, mating effort, and casual sex. A sample of 300 participants reported biodemographic behavioral outcomes, such as their number of lifetime sex partners, which correlated with ELS, LH strategy, and unrestricted sociosexual attitudes (albeit not strongly). A structural equations model was specified and demonstrated that effects of ELS and LH on unrestricted sociosexual attitudes were partially mediated through psychopathy. ELS, LH, and an antagonistic social schema increased psychopathy, which then directly increased unrestricted sociosexual attitudes. These results support the theory that psychopathy is an adaptive trait meant to increase short-term mating opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Early life stress
  • Life history theory
  • Psychopathy
  • Short-term mating
  • Sociosexual attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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