A cross-sectional study of psychopathy and khat abuse among prisoners in the correctional institution in Jimma, Ethiopia

Autoři: Yimenu Yitayih aff001;  Matiwos Soboka aff001;  Elias Tesfaye aff001;  Mubarek Abera aff001;  Almaz Mamaru aff001;  Kristina Adorjan aff002
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia aff001;  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Center of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany aff002;  Institute of Psychiatric Phenomics and Genomics (IPPG), Medical Center of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany aff003;  Center for International Health, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227405



Khat abuse and psychopathy are both strongly related to criminal activity. Higher rates of substance use in people with psychopathy are hypothesized to be related to psychopathic personality traits, which include high sensation seeking, low conscientiousness and neuroticism, impulsivity, and irresponsibility. Little is known, however, about the association between psychopathy and khat abuse among prisoners in Ethiopia. Therefore, we evaluated the presence of these two factors in prisoners in the correctional institution in Jimma, Southwest Ethiopia.

Materials and methods

We used a cross-sectional study design to collect data from 336 prisoners from June 5 to July 5, 2017. Study participants were selected by a systematic random sampling technique. Khat abuse was assessed with the Drug Abuse Screening Tool and psychopathy with the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version. We also assessed nicotine dependence with the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence; alcohol use disorder, with the alcohol use disorder identification test; adverse traumatic life events, with the Life Events Checklist; and social support, with the Oslo 3-Item Social Support Scale. Data were entered into EpiData version 3.1 and analyzed in bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models. Variables with a P value < 0.05 in the final fitted model were declared to be significantly associated with the outcome variable.


The overall prevalence of lifetime khat use was 59.9%, and the prevalence of khat abuse in prisoners with psychopathy was 78.0%. Prisoners with psychopathy had a three times higher odds ratio of abusing khat than those without psychopathy (AOR = 3.00 [1.17–7.67]). Among the confounders, a family history of substance use (AOR = 2.50 [1.45–4.31]), poor support (AOR = 2.28 [1.11–4.67]), alcohol use disorder (AOR = 7.78 [4.16–14.53]), and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (AOR = 2.26 [1.45–4.31]) were also positively associated with khat abuse.


The prevalence of khat abuse was higher in prisoners with possible or probable psychopathy.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Impulsivity – Khat – Mental health and psychiatry – Post-traumatic stress disorder – Prisoners – Prisons – Suicide


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