The Relationship between Self-rated Psychopathic Traits and Psychopathology in a Sample of Finnish Community Youth: Exploration of Gender Differences
- *Corresponding Author:
- Svetlana Oshukova
University of Helsinki and Helsinki
University Hospital, Psychiatry
P.O. Box 282, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: September 11, 2016; Accepted Date: October 17, 2016; Published Date: October 25, 2016
Citation: Oshukova S, Kaltiala-Heino R, Miettunen J, Marttila R, Tani P, et al. (2016) The Relationship between Self-rated Psychopathic Traits and Psychopathology in a Sample of Finnish Community Youth: Exploration of Gender Differences. J Child Adolesc Behav 4: 314. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000314
Copyright: © 2016 Oshukova S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Associations between psychopathic traits and other forms of psychopathology among youth in the community, as well as gender differences in these associations have been scarcely studied yet. The present study aimed to explore this relationship in a sample of Finnish mid-adolescent girls and boys. Methods: The sample comprised 370 secondary school ninth-graders with the mean age of 15.1 years (SD 0.28). The Youth Psychopathic traits Inventory (YPI) and the Youth Self Report (YSR) served as self-assessments. Results: Boys showed significantly higher traits of psychopathy, but girls scored significantly higher on the Total Problems as well as on the majority of the syndrome scales on the YSR. In both genders, psychopathic traits correlated highly with rule-breaking and aggressive behavior, moderately with attention and thought complaints, and modestly with depression, anxiety, withdrawal and social problems. The correlations between psychopathic traits and somatic problems were moderate in boys, but modest in girls. The correlations showed only a few statistically significant gender differences: the correlation between the Affective dimension of the YPI and the rule-breaking behavior syndrome scale of the YSR, as well as the correlation between the Interpersonal dimension of the YPI and somatic problems were stronger in boys than in girls. Conclusions: Even though boys show higher traits of psychopathy and girls exhibit more general psychopathology, the correlations between psychopathic traits and other forms of psychopathology closely resemble each other. In both genders, psychopathic traits correlate positively with both externalizing and internalizing problems. The callous-unemotional traits correlate more strongly with rule-breaking behavior in boys than in girls. Screening for psychopathic traits among adolescents with psychosocial adjustment problems seems relevant.