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

Stephen Houghton, Simon C. Hunter, Umneea Khan, Carol Tan

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages18
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • child psychiatry
  • psychometric evaluations
  • interpersonal
  • psychopathic traits
  • adolescents
  • development
  • validation
  • self-report instrument
  • instrumentation
  • assessment

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