The Macdonald Triad

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ABSTRACT
The Macdonald triad, also known as the triad of sociopath is a set of three behavioral characteristics which are associated with sociopathic behavior. How are all these tied into each other? What are some of the characteristics that are associated with the Macdonald Triad? The Macdonald triad is a set of three behavioral characteristics which are associated with sociopathic behavior. These behavioral characteristics are found in the childhood histories of individuals with sociopathic behaviors. We will examine each one of these that is associated with the Macdonald Triad. J. M. Macdonald suggested that cruelty towards animals, fire-setting and excessive bed-wetting during in childhood linked violent behavior in adulthood. This theory has strengths and weaknesses. It provides an explanation, not necessarily a valid one, for a tragic situation. Sometimes that is all anybody is ever looking for in those situations, an explanation.

The Macdonald triad is a set of three behavioral characteristics which are associated with sociopathic behavior. It was first identified by a forensic psychiatrist, John Marshall Macdonald, in his 1963 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry titled "The Threat to Kill". These behavioral characteristics are found in the childhood histories of individuals with sociopathic behaviors. The following are the three classic signs of the Macdonald Triad: Animal Cruelty, Enuresis, more commonly referred to as bed wetting and fire setting or arson. Although some children display sociopathic behavior such as being more aggressive, being more manipulative, expressing little or no remorse, and feeling no guilt cannot be an indicator for the Macdonald Triad. It has long been held that the presence of the triad in children and adolescents is predictive of later interpersonal violence. Although in more recent studies statistically significant links between the MacDonald Triad and violent criminals have not...
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