Juvenile Psychopathy: A Clinical Construct in Need of Restraint?

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Antisocial Personality Disorder; Violence; Juvenile Delinquency; Mental Disorders; Adolescent; Forensic Psychiatry


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Interest in psychopathic traits and their potential applicability to youths appears to be increasing precipitously in the social sciences. Although research on the causes, correlates, and course of traits that appear phenotypically similar to adult psychopathy potentially may inform clinical and legal decision making for youths some day, there are numerous problems with taking measures of these putative traits “outside the lab” at present. This article highlights several unresolved questions regarding juvenile psychopathy that seriously limit its applied utility in clinical and forensic decision making. Examiners who plan to use instruments intended to measure this construct among youths are advised to be familiar with these limitations and their implications for practice.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Edens, J. F. & Vincent, G. M. (2008). Juvenile Psychopathy: A Clinical Construct in Need of Restraint?. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 8(2), 186-197. doi:10.1080/15228930801964042

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice