Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the structure of juvenile psychopathy, as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL: YV). Design/methodology/approach: Using a sample of 2,042 male youths from the USA, Canada, and the UK, the study was a conceptual replication of Bishopp and Hare’s (2008) multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis of adult male offenders assessed with the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. Findings: The scaling analyses generally replicated those obtained by Bishopp and Hare, providing support for a multidimensional, four-factor model of juvenile psychopathy similar to that obtained with adults. However, a small number of items fell outside their predicted regions. Slight differences in the structure of juvenile psychopathy were found for incarcerated and supervised samples of youth, with the four-factor model breaking down slightly for the supervised sample. Item misplacements may indicate that certain items on the PCL: YV are being misinterpreted, reflect different dimensions for different samples, or cannot be reliably measured. Future research should examine these possibilities, with special attention being paid to supervised samples. Originality/value: To the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first known attempts to use MDS analysis to examine the psychopathy structures that emerge for male juvenile offenders. The greater nuances afforded by using MDS offer a more comprehensive understanding of psychopathy between incarcerated and supervised youth using the PCL: YV.

, , , , ,
Journal of Criminal Psychology
Department of Psychology

Ellingwood, H. (Holly), Emeno, K. (Karla), Bennell, C, Forth, A, Kosson, D. (David), & Hare, R.D. (Robert D.). (2017). Multidimensional scaling analysis of psychopathy in male juveniles using the PCL: YV. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 7(4), 262–279. doi:10.1108/JCP-03-2017-0019