PCL-R Field Validity in Prison and Hospital Settings

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Abstract

Recent field studies have questioned the interrater reliability (IRR) and predictive validity regarding (violent) recidivism of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Using a forensic psychiatric sample, the current study investigated discrepancies in scoring between hospital and prison settings, as well as differences in predictive validity across these two settings. PCL-R information was collected from prison and hospital files, resulting in 224 PCL-R total scores and 74 double scores. When examining repeated measurements, large individual differences were found together with an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICCA,1) of .42 for the total score. Discrepant results were found for Factor 2, with repeated scores within the same setting having an ICCA,1 of .28 versus an ICCA,1 of .57 for repeated scores between settings. However, areas under the curve (AUCs) from receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses for total, factor and facet scores did not differ between settings. For the whole sample, Factor 2 scores marginally predicted violent and general recidivism after 2 years (AUC = .62 and .63), whereas Factor 1 did not predict (violent) recidivism. Consistent with recent studies from other countries, these results suggest inadequate field reliability and validity in prison and hospital settings in Flanders (Belgium).

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