Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 381–393 | Cite as

Psychopathic Traits in Youth: Is There Evidence for Primary and Secondary Subtypes?

  • Zina Lee
  • Randall T. Salekin
  • Anne-Marie R. Iselin


The current study employed model-based cluster analysis in a sample of male adolescent offenders (n = 94) to examine subtypes based on psychopathic traits and anxiety. Using the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV; Forth et al. 2003) and the self-report Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD; Caputo et al. 1999), analyses identified three clusters in males that varied in the severity of psychopathic traits (low, moderate, and high) and anxiety. The high psychopathic group exhibited more negative personality traits and was judged to be at greater risk for dangerousness whereas the low psychopathic group exhibited more positive personality traits and was judged to be at lower risk for dangerousness. Implications regarding potential developmental differences between adolescent and adult psychopathy, as well as treatment considerations are discussed.


Psychopathy Adolescents Subtypes Model-based cluster analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Law and Psychiatry DepartmentUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of CriminologyKwantlen Polytechnic UniversitySurreyCanada
  4. 4.Center for Child and Family PolicyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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