Factor Structure of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL

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Despite substantial evidence for the fit of the 3- and 4-factor models of Psychopathy Checklist-based ratings of psychopathy in adult males and adolescents, evidence is less consistent in adolescent females. However, prior studies used samples much smaller than recommended for examining model fit. To address this issue, we conducted a confirmatory factor analysis of 646 adolescent females to test the fit of the 3- and 4-factor models. We also investigated the fit of these models in more homogeneous subsets of the full sample to examine whether fit was invariant across geographical region and setting. Analyses indicated adequate fit for both models in the full sample and was generally acceptable for both models in North American and European subsamples and for participants in less restrictive (probation/detention/clinic) settings. However, in the incarcerated subsample, the 4-factor model achieved acceptable fit on only two of four indices. Although model fit was not invariant across continent or setting, invariance could be achieved in most cases by simply allowing factor loadings on a single Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (Forth, Kosson, & Hare, 2003) item to vary across groups. In summary, in contrast to prior studies with small samples, current findings show that both the 3- and 4-factor models fit adequately in a large sample of adolescent females, and the factor loadings are largely similar for North American and European samples and for long-term incarcerated and shorter-term incarcerated/probation/clinic samples.

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