Screening for Adolescent Psychopathy Among At-Risk Youth: Initial Validation of the Survey of Attitudes and Life Experiences

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psychopathy, delinquents, Psychopathy Checklist, social desirability, social nonconformity


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Psychopathic youth pose special challenges to clinicians in providing effective treatment and safe management. Because comprehensive assessments of psychopathy are time intensive and require specialized training, programmatic research is needed to develop time-efficient and useful screens that eliminate from further consideration acting-out adolescents who are unlikely to be psychopathic. The clinical utility of the Survey of Attitudes and Life Experiences as a psychopathy screen was investigated by combining three samples of adolescent offenders (total N = 223). Its primary purpose was the identification of nonpsychopaths who were distinguished from adolescents in either the mixed or psychopathic ranges. A Psychopathy Screen (PS) Scale was developed with 24-item (PS-24) and 11-item (PS-11) versions. Both appeared moderately effective in excluding nonpsychopaths from further evaluation. Preliminary data on response styles suggest that these scales are not susceptible to social desirability.

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Peer Reviewed



APA Citation: Rogers, R., Vitacco, M. J., Cruise, K. R., Sewell, K. W., & Neumann, C. S. (2002). Screening for adolescent psychopathy among at-risk youth: Initial validation of the survey of attitudes and life experiences. Assessment, 9(4), 343-350. doi: 10.1177/1073191102238154