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Interpersonal and affective dimensions of psychopathic traits in adolescents : development and validation of a self-report instrument

Houghton, Stephen and Hunter, Simon C. and Khan, Umneea and Tan, Carol (2013) Interpersonal and affective dimensions of psychopathic traits in adolescents : development and validation of a self-report instrument. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 44 (1). pp. 51-69. ISSN 0009-398X

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We report the development and psychometric evaluations of a self-report instrument designed to screen for psychopathic traits among mainstream community adolescents. Tests of item functioning were initially conducted with 26 adolescents. In a second study the new instrument was administered to 150 high school adolescents, 73 of who had school records of suspension for antisocial behavior. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a 4-factor structure (Impulsivity α = .73, Self-Centredness α = .70, Callous-Unemotional α = .69, and Manipulativeness α = .83). In a third study involving 328 high school adolescents, 130 with records of suspension for antisocial behaviour, competing measurement models were evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. The superiority of a first-order model represented by four correlated factors that was invariant across gender and age was confirmed. The findings provide researchers and clinicians with a psychometrically strong, self-report instrument and a greater understanding of psychopathic traits in mainstream adolescents.