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ERIC Number: EJ813269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Youth with Psychopathy Features Are Not a Discrete Class: A Taxometric Analysis
Murrie, Daniel C.; Marcus, David K.; Douglas, Kevin S.; Lee, Zina; Salekin, Randall T.; Vincent, Gina
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v48 n7 p714-723 Jul 2007
Background: Recently, researchers have sought to measure psychopathy-like features among youth in hopes of identifying children who may be progressing toward a particularly destructive form of adult pathology. However, it remains unclear whether psychopathy-like personality features among youth are best conceptualized as dimensional (distributed along a continuum) or taxonic (such that youth with psychopathic personality characteristics are qualitatively distinct from non-psychopathic youth). Methods: This study applied taxometric analyses (MAMBAC, MAXEIG, and L-Mode) to scores from two primary measures of youth psychopathy features: the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (N = 757) and the self-report Antisocial Process Screening Device (N = 489) among delinquent boys. Results: All analyses supported a dimensional structure, indicating that psychopathy features among youth are best understood as existing along a continuum. Conclusions: Although youth clearly vary in the degree to which they manifest psychopathy-like personality traits, there is no natural, discrete class of young "psychopaths." This finding has implications for developmental theory, treatment, assessment strategies, research, and clinical/forensic practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A