A Prospective Study on Self-Reported Psychopathy and Criminal Recidivism Among Incarcerated Male Juvenile Offenders

Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2019 Oct;63(14):2383-2405. doi: 10.1177/0306624X19849569. Epub 2019 May 26.


The present study examines the utility of three self-report measures of psychopathic traits in predicting recidivism among a sample of incarcerated male juvenile offenders. Participants (N = 214, M = 16.40 years, SD = 1.29 years) from seven Portuguese juvenile detention centers were followed and prospectively classified as recidivists versus non-recidivists. Area under the curve (AUC) analysis revealed that the Antisocial Process Screening Device-Self-Report (APSD-SR) presented the best performance in terms of predicting general recidivism, with the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI) and the Childhood and Adolescent Taxon Scale-Self-Report (CATS-SR) presenting much poorer results. However, logistic regression models controlling for past frequency of crimes and age of first incarceration found that none of these self-report measures significantly predicted 1- or 3-year recidivism, whether general or violent. Findings suggest there are limitations in terms of the incremental utility of self-report measures of psychopathic traits in predicting recidivism among juveniles.

Keywords: crime; juvenile offenders; psychopathy; recidivism; self-report.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Child
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Forecasting / methods
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recidivism / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report*
  • Young Adult