An Analysis of Four Self-report Measures of Adolescent Callous-Unemotional Traits: Exploring Unique Prediction of Delinquency, Aggression, and Conduct Problems

  • Lisa L. Ansel
  • Christopher T. Barry
  • Christopher T. A. Gillen
  • Lacey L. Herrington


The present study examined the incremental validity of four self-report measures of adolescent psychopathy [i.e., Antisocial Process Screening Device self-report version (APSD), Childhood Psychopathy Scale (CPS), Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI), and the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU)] with particular interest in their assessment of callous-unemotional (CU) traits in a sample of 279 (246 males, 33 females) at-risk adolescents (ages 16–18). Analogous subscales across the four measures were weakly to moderately interrelated with no evidence of a true gold-standard self-report assessment of CU traits. Results indicate that CU traits are a multifaceted construct, with specific CU dimensions predicting differential aspects of antisocial behavior. Most notably, callousness predicted aggression incrementally above other CU domains, but not other forms of antisocial behavior. The implications of a multi-dimensional conceptualization of CU traits are discussed.


CU traits Assessment Adolescent 


Conflict of Interest

Lisa L. Ansel declares that there is no conflict of interest, Christopher T. Barry declares that there is no conflict of interest, Christopher T. A. Gillen declares that there is no conflict of interest, Lacey L. Herrington declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Experiment Participants

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the authors’ affiliated university. Written informed consent was obtained from all parents and assent obtained by all adolescent participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa L. Ansel
    • 1
  • Christopher T. Barry
    • 1
  • Christopher T. A. Gillen
    • 1
  • Lacey L. Herrington
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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