The Assessment of Juvenile Psychopathy: Strengths and Weaknesses of Currently Used Questionnaire Measures



Background:  There has been a significant increase in the research use of questionnaire measures of juvenile psychopathy. This paper aimed to critically review these questionnaires.

Method:  Empirical studies on published measures of juvenile psychopathy were reviewed with two criteria in mind: (1) adequate scale psychometrics; (2) utility value in clinical, forensic, community or primary health care settings.

Results:  Despite significant strengths, the review highlights several psychometric shortcomings of currently used measures.

Conclusions:  Psychometric shortcomings in questionnaire measures of juvenile psychopathy mitigate against their use in applied settings in the absence of full clinical assessments, especially where pre-adolescent children are concerned.