U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Investigation of Psychopathic Features Among Delinquent Girls: Violence, Theft, and Drug Abuse

NCJ Number
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice Volume: 6 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2008 Pages: 240-255
Michael G. Vaughn; Christina E. Newhill; Matt DeLisi; Kevin M. Beaver; Matthew O. Howard
Date Published
July 2008
16 pages
Redressing the construct of psychopathy among juveniles, this study examined psychopathic features among female delinquent offenders and tested their utility in predicting violent behavior, theft, and drug abuse.
Results indicate that psychopathic traits do possess validity in predicting violence and theft, but not drug abuse. Specific traits such as carefree nonplanfulness and Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD) narcissism, however, are more predictive than others for these outcomes. The findings suggest that interpersonal and affective facets of psychopathy are important with respect to these outcomes among antisocial adolescent females. Although most studies of psychopathic traits among adolescents have been carried out among predominately male samples, few studies have investigated psychopathic traits among adolescent females. This study investigated the construct of psychopathy and examined relationships between psychopathy subscale scores and violence, theft, and drug abuse among delinquent girls in a State population of residential youth referred by juvenile court. It tested the hypothesis that psychopathy subscale scores would predict increases in measures of violence, theft, and lifetime polysubstance use while controlling for demographic and relevant risk variables. Figure, tables and references