Date: August 2008
Creator: Norlander, Bradley J.
Description: Individuals presenting with high levels of psychopathy demonstrate chronic and severe antisocial behavior and poor treatment outcomes in response to generalized rehabilitative programs. Recent research has examined the relationship between delinquency in child/adolescent populations and subsequent psychopathy. Focusing on community based/referred population of at-risk youth, this study developed and examined the effectiveness of an 18-session, psychopathy-focused, group CBT treatment program. The study incorporated treatment (n = 34) and usual-care comparison (n = 30) groups and a brief follow up period. Treatment outcomes examined measures of psychopathy, anger, impulsivity, motivation for treatment, self-reported problems, and indices of behavior. The treatment program demonstrated reductions in psychopathy on the Interpersonal (d = .55) and Affective facets (d = .24) of the PCL:YV. It also reduced overall impulsivity and improved anger suppression and treatment motivation, particularly among youth presenting with higher levels (relative to this study) of psychopathy. As a result of treatment, decreased incidents with the juvenile justice system were also observed, both during the treatment period and at six weeks follow-up. This study provides an initial empirical foundation for the ongoing development of targeted interventions for youth demonstrating psychopathic traits.
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