Adolescents with Psychopathic Characteristics in a Substance Abusing Cohort: Treatment Process and Outcomes
Source: Law and Human Behavior, Volume 27, Number 3, June 2003 , pp. 299-313(15)
Psychopathy is a condition with important consequences both for individuals who experience it and for the communities in which they live. Although the assessment of psychopathy among adolescents remains controversial, some evidence suggests that the affective and behavioral traits of adult psychopathy begin to emerge in childhood (B. B. Lahey & A. Kazdin, 1990) and continue across the lifespan (A. E. Forth, S. D. Hart, & R. D. Hare, 1990). The present study used the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV; A. E. Forth, S. D. Kosson, & R. D. Hare, in press) to retrospectively assess psychopathic characteristics, treatment process, and outcomes of 64 individuals referred for treatment to a substance abuse program for adjudicated adolescents. This study focused on the relationship between psychopathic characteristics and treatment process and outcome variables, including attrition rates, quality of participation, substance use throughout treatment, clinical improvement, and 12-month recidivism rates. Psychopathic characteristics were negatively related to treatment process and outcome variables, including attrition, participation, substance use, and clinical improvement. Psychopathic characteristics were positively related to the number of arrests in the 12 months following treatment completion. Implications for treatment and future research with adolescents displaying psychopathic characteristics are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Institute for Addictive Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2: Institute for Addictive Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 3: Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Kirk.Heilbrun@drexel.edu
Publication date: June 1, 2003