Author(s): Frick PJ, Bodin SD, Barry CT, Frick PJ, Bodin SD, Barry CT
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Abstract This study examined the structure of psychopathic traits in 2 samples of children. The nonreferred community sample included 1,136 children recruited from elementary schools in 2 school districts in the southeastern United States. The clinic sample included 160 children referred to an outpatient mental health clinic serving the same geographic region. In both samples, parent and teacher ratings of psychopathic traits were subjected to a principal-axis factor analysis, and the congruence of the factor structure across samples was examined using confirmatory factor analysis. In both samples, 1 dimension that consisted of the callous and unemotional traits that have been hallmarks of most clinical descriptions of psychopathy was isolated. Two other dimensions consisting of narcissistic traits and impulsivity emerged in the community sample. Both the narcissism and impulsivity dimensions were highly related to symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the callous and unemotional traits were only weakly associated with these symptoms after controlling for the other dimensions of psychopathy.
This article was published in Psychol Assess
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior