Psychopathy and behavioral correlates of victim injury in serious juvenile offenders

Michael J. Vitacco, Michael F. Caldwell, Gregory J. Van Rybroek, Jason Gabel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The study examines delinquent behavior and psychopathy and assesses their relationship to victim injury in a population of 168 incarcerated juvenile delinquent males with lengthy histories of criminal and violent behavior. A series of multiple regressions found that 17% of the variance associated with level of victim injury was accounted for by a model that included the three-factor model of the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version [Forth, Kosson, and Hare, 2003], criminal versatility, and age of onset of criminal offending. Notably, anger and DSM-IV symptoms of conduct disorder were not related to level of victim injury. The results of this study support an escalation hypothesis where individuals with earlier onset to criminal behavior and greater criminal versatility escalate to more severe violence. The current results demonstrate the importance of integrating established theories of juvenile delinquency when explaining severe violence in youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent violence
  • Psychopathy
  • Victim injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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