Measurement of Adolescent Psychopathy: Construct and Predictive Validity in Two Samples of Juvenile Offenders

Measurement of Adolescent Psychopathy: Construct and Predictive Validity in Two Samples of Juvenile Offenders

Date: August 2000
Creator: Cruise, Keith R.
Description: The construct of psychopathy holds promise as a discriminating variable in the classification and explanation of childhood antisocial behavior. The new generation of psychopathy measures, designed to measure this construct in adolescent populations, must meet acceptable standards of reliability and validity prior to the clinical application of the construct with adolescent offenders. The purpose of this study is to examine the construct and predictive validity of adolescent psychopathy as measured by the PCL:YV, PSD, SALE, and SRP-II. Data from two samples of detained adolescent offenders (short-term and long-term detention) are utilized to investigate construct validity via MTMM. In addition, external validity indices including institutional violations (fighting, seclusions, and treatment refusals) and community supervision (probation contacts, drug testing, and re-arrests) are operationalized and measured in order to examine the predictive validity of adolescent psychopathy. Results of construct validity offer modest support for the two-factor model of psychopathy. For external validity, Factor 2 accounted for greater variance in the prediction of institutional infractions and subsequent placements in a secure facility; however, its overall predictive validity was low. The results suggest that the current measures assess psychopathic traits and behaviors which may be stable in adults but are likely to be normative and ...
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Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders

Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders

Date: August 2002
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.
Description: Psychopathy, as conceptualized by Cleckley (1941), describes a constellation of psychological and behavioral correlates including superficial charm, untruthfulness, lack of remorse or shame, poor judgment, and failure to learn from experience. Based on Cleckley's initial work, Hare (1991) developed a two-factor model of psychopathy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder have on adolescents classified as psychopaths. The participants consisted of 79 adjudicated male adolescents in a maximum-security facility. As hypothesized, adolescent male psychopaths had higher levels of sensation seeking, impulsivity, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. A discriminant function analysis found that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder was moderately useful in classifying adolescent psychopathy. The results suggest that behavioral dysregulation is an important aspect of adolescent psychopathy. The relationship of these data to theories of adolescent psychopathy is discussed.
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Adolescent self-mutilating behaviors: Experiential avoidance coupled with imitation?

Adolescent self-mutilating behaviors: Experiential avoidance coupled with imitation?

Date: August 2008
Creator: Howe-Martin, Laura S.
Description: Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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