Subclinical psychopathic personality traits have been associated with multiple indicators of couple distress and romantic attachment insecurities but essentially in community samples. This study examined dyadic associations between primary and secondary psychopathy and attachment anxiety and avoidance, assessed with self-reported measures, in 183 French-Canadian cohabiting partners seeking couple therapy. Two Actor-Partner Interdependence Models were tested: Model 1 considered psychopathic traits as independent variables and Model 2 treated attachment insecurities as independent variables. Analyses revealed that in both partners, secondary psychopathy was associated with attachment anxiety and avoidance (Models 1 and 2), while primary psychopathy was not only associated with attachment anxiety (Model 2; actor associations). Partner effects between primary and secondary psychopathy in men and women's attachment anxiety were also found in both models. These findings complement those reported in community samples and have clinical implications for treatment-seeking couples.
© 2019 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.