Antisocial Process Screening Device Subscales Predict Recidivism in an Australian Juvenile Offender Sample

  • Natalie Goulter
  • Eva R. Kimonis
  • Eric Heller


The present study is the first to examine the psychometric properties of the self-report Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD-SR), and the predictive utility of its subscales for reoffending, among Australian juvenile offenders (N = 308, M age = 17.00, SD = 1.49). Exploratory factor analysis supported a modified three-factor structure in which four items loaded differently to prior studies. Total APSD-SR and modified subscale scores were positively associated with criminal history and mental health problems (e.g., internalizing and externalizing problems, alcohol and substance abuse/dependence). Survival analyses indicated that youth scoring high on the APSD-SR total score were faster to reoffend nonviolently (Hazard Ratio [HR] = 1.31, p = .0003) and violently (HR = 1.42, p = .0003) than those scoring low. Whereas the modified grandiose-manipulative subscale predicted faster time to nonviolent recidivism (HR = 1.18, p = .026) as a single predictor, when all subscales were simultaneously entered into the model only callous-unemotional (CU) traits and impulsivity predicted nonviolent recidivism (HR = 1.19, p = .026 and 1.22, p = .015, respectively), and only impulsivity predicted violent recidivism (HR = 1.26, p = .014). Findings inform current understanding of the relative contribution of adolescent psychopathy dimensions to designating a particularly high-risk group of Australian youth in custody.


Adolescent psychopathy Callous-unemotional traits Juvenile offending Recidivism Self-report 



This study was funded by NSW Department of Juvenile Justice, NSW Health Centre for Aboriginal Health, and NSW Department of Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All study procedures received ethical approval from the NSW Juvenile Justice Research Committee, the NSW Justice Health Human Research and Ethics Committee, the Correctional Services NSW ethics committee, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council ethics committee, and the University of New South Wales human research ethics advisory panel, and were in accordance with APA ethical guidelines for research with human participants.

Informed Consent

All participants provided informed consent, and parental consent was obtained for those under the age of 14 years.

Conflict of Interest

Natalie Goulter, Eva R. Kimonis, and Eric Heller declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Experiment Participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were inaccordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee, and with the1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Juvenile Justice New South Wales, Department of JusticeSydneyAustralia

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