Predicting antisocial behavior in high-risk male adolescents: Contributions of psychopathy and instrumental violence

Michael J. Vitacco, Craig S. Neumann, Michael F. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


The study of the downward extension of psychopathy to adolescents is limited by a lack of research focusing on its predictive validity in high-risk samples. The current study presents data on a sample of 120 ethnically diverse male offenders released from a maximum-security correctional treatment facility and followed for an average of 5 years. Dichotomized follow-up criminal charges consisted of both misdemeanor and felony charges. Structural equation modeling results found that the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version accounted for a modest, but significant, amount of variance. Adding a measure that assessed previous instrumental violence increased variance accounted for in the criminal charges outcome factor, but the relationship was in an unexpected direction. Implications for predicting violent behavior with psychopathy and criminal conduct in adolescent male offenders are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-846
Number of pages14
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescents
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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