A comparison of factor models on the PCL-R with mentally disordered offenders: The development of a four-factor model

Michael J. Vitacco, Richard Rogers, Craig S. Neumann, Kimberly S. Harrison, Gina Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

44 Scopus citations


For more than a decade, researchers and practitioners have generally accepted a two-factor model for the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) composed of core personality features and an antisocial lifestyle. Very recently, Cooke and Michie (2001) proposed a three-factor solution that divided the core personality features into two dimensions while eliminating antisocial behavior. This study of male, mentally disordered offenders (N = 96) directly compared factor models via confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). When using testlets to combine theoretically similar items into single ratings, the nested three-factor model was an excellent fit. Of importance, the development of a four-factor model with the inclusion of antisocial items also produced an excellent fit. Combined with recent research, these findings have important ramifications for the construct validity of the PCL-R.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-545
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • CFA
  • Mentally disordered offenders
  • Psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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