Adolescent psychopathy and personality theory--the interpersonal circumplex: expanding evidence of a nomological net.


Journal Article

The construct validity of psychopathy was examined in a sample of 114 male and female young offenders (M(age) = 15.16) at a southeastern detention center. The interpersonal circumplex served as a framework of general personality from which to examine the construct of adolescent psychopathy. A supplementary analysis of the psychopathy measures and the Big 5 factors of personality was also conducted using a matrix approach. Measures included: (a) Antisocial Process Screening Device (P. J. Frick & R. D. Hare, 2001); (b) Child Psychopathy Scale (D. R. Lynam, 1996); (c) Psychopathy Checklist--Youth Version (A. E. Forth, D. S. Kosson, & R. D. Hare, 2003); and (d) Interpersonal Adjective Scales Revised--Big 5 Version (P. Trapnell & J. S. Wiggins, 1991; J. S. Wiggins, 1995). Results showed substantial convergence among the three psychopathy measures. In addition, meaningful associations between psychopathy and constructs within the interpersonal circumplex and broader domains of the Big 5 were obtained. Two psychopathy scales correlated to a higher degree than expected with neuroticism. These findings provide evidence linking personality theory to the concept of child and adolescent psychopathy, thereby adding to its construct validity. However, they do so with the caveat that youth may also be displaying some characteristics of neuroticism, suggesting that worry and anxiety may accompany psychopathic features in earlier developmental stages. The implications of the current study are discussed.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Salekin, RT; Leistico, A-MR; Trobst, KK; Schrum, CL; Lochman, JE

Published Date

  • August 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 445 - 460

PubMed ID

  • 16118991

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16118991

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2835

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-0627

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10802-005-5726-y


  • eng