Understanding the Downward Extension of Psychopathy to Youth: Implications for Risk Assessment and Juvenile Justice
Psychopathy is an important construct in adult risk assessment resulting from strong associations to antisocial behavior and criminal recidivism. A recent trend is the downward extension of psychopathic traits to explain juvenile violence. Applying the concept of psychopathy to youthful offenders has great potential; however, its application to adolescence is fraught with uncertainty. This article discusses how the search for causes of violence along with the changing juvenile justice system have encouraged psychopathy to be used for informing policies related to the assessment and treatment of juvenile offenders. Based on established research and clinical practice, we make the case that if applied judiciously, psychopathy can be a critical component in identifying youth most at-risk for short-term violence.
Michael J. Vitacco and Gina M. Vincent. "Understanding the Downward Extension of Psychopathy to Youth: Implications for Risk Assessment and Juvenile Justice" International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 5.1 (2006).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gina_vincent/1