Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 51–69 | Cite as

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
Original Article


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 = 0.73, Self-Centredness α = 0.70, Callous-Unemotional α = 0.69, and Manipulativeness α = 0.83). In a third study involving 328 high school adolescents, 130 with records of suspension for antisocial behavior, competing measurement models were evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. The superiority of a measurement model represented by four correlated factors was supported, and this model was invariant across gender and age. The findings provide researchers and clinicians with a psychometrically strong, self-report instrument and a greater understanding of psychopathic traits in mainstream adolescents.


Adolescents Psychopathic traits Assessment Instrumentation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Houghton
    • 1
  • Simon C. Hunter
    • 2
  • Umneea Khan
    • 1
  • Carol Tan
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of Psychological Sciences and HealthUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowScotland, UK
  3. 3.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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