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

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 transient in many adolescents.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Cruise, Keith R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Classification of Denial in Sex Offenders; an Investigation of Response Styles

Description: Standard psychological assessment instruments have not produced consistent results by which decisions can be made regarding the appropriate placement and legal disposition of an individual who has committed a sexual offense. The purpose of the present study was to systematically investigate deception and dissimulation as measured by three assessment instruments commonly utilized with sex offenders. A denial classification system was utilized in order to classify offenders into categories based on their level of admission to the legal system. The four group classification system did not produce significant differences on all measures of deception and dissimulation. Contrary to previous research, admitters were found to respond more defensively than deniers on one of the assessment instruments. In addition, partial deniers were identified as responding significantly differently from both admitters and deniers on a separate instrument. The differences found suggest that sex offenders' level of deception is multifaceted. Difficulties in identifying classificatory strategies and implications for theoretical conceptions of denial within this population are discussed.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Cruise, Keith R.
Partner: UNT Libraries