Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 423–438 | Cite as

Criminal Recidivism Among Juvenile Offenders: Testing the Incremental and Predictive Validity of Three Measures of Psychopathic Features

  • Kevin S. Douglas
  • Monica E. Epstein
  • Norman G. Poythress
Original Article


We studied the predictive, comparative, and incremental validity of three measures of psychopathic features (Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version [PCL:YV]; Antisocial Process Screening Device [APSD]; Childhood Psychopathy Scale [CPS]) vis-à-vis criminal recidivism among 83 delinquent youth within a truly prospective design. Bivariate and multivariate analyses (Cox proportional hazard analyses) showed that of the three measures, the CPS was most consistently related to most types of recidivism in comparison to the other measures. However, incremental validity analyses demonstrated that all of the predictive effects for the measures of psychopathic features disappeared after conceptually relevant covariates (i.e., substance use, conduct disorder, young age, past property crime) were included in multivariate predictive models. Implications for the limits of these measures in applied juvenile justice assessment are discussed.


Youth psychopathy Juvenile justice Risk assessment Prediction of recidivism PCL:YV:CPS:APSD 



Kevin S. Douglas gratefully acknowledges the support of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research for providing him with a Career Scholar Award. Douglas also is affiliated with Mid-Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden, as a Guest Professor of Applied Criminology.


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Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin S. Douglas
    • 1
  • Monica E. Epstein
    • 2
  • Norman G. Poythress
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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