Juvenile Psychopathy

Despite disagreement about its exact contours, most conceptualizations of psychopathic personality disorder emphasize traits of emotional detachment, including callousness, failure to form close emotional bonds, low anxiety proneness, remorselessness, and deceitfulness. Nevertheless, most measures of psychopathy go beyond these interpersonal and affective features to assess repeated involvement in antisocial behavior, which many scholars view as peripheral to the construct. Chiefly, this is because most measures are based on the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL–R), which weighs past violent and antisocial behavior as strongly as traits of emotional detachment. Over the past decade, researchers have extended this adult measure of psychopathy downward to adolescents and children, with the goal of assessing “juvenile psychopathy.” This research has gained considerable momentum, despite ongoing controversy about the appropriateness of diagnosing psychopathy ...

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