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Abstract

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1997) requires identification of emotional disturbance by special education criteria. It also requires that emotional disturbance be distinguished from social maladjustment. In some cases, a thorough evaluation of the child's character pathology can aid in this determination. While methods such as the Rorschach, BASC, and MMPI-A are useful in understanding behavior and personality, psychopathy assessment may be particularly useful for organizing opinions in this matter. In this article we discuss the relevance of psychopathy's two-factor structure in formulating a schema for making the differentiation between emotional disturbance and social maladjustment and review methods for gathering information about this troublesome aspect of character pathology. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 41: 849–860, 2004.