Ethnic differences in the relationship between psychopathy and (re)offending in a sample of juvenile delinquents

Jessica J. Asscher, Maja Deković, Inge B. Wissink, Eveline S. van Vugt, Geert Jan J M Stams, Willeke A. Manders

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Abstract

The present study focused on the relationship between psychopathy and delinquency in a multiethnic sample of juvenile offenders (N=207, n=105 native Dutch, and n=102 immigrants) referred to a treatment program. Aims were (1) to examine the cross-ethnic equivalence of the Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD); (2) to compare the mean levels of psychopathic traits in native Dutch and immigrant juvenile delinquents and (3) the strength of the associations between psychopathic traits and delinquency in both the native Dutch and immigrant samples. Measurement invariance was established for APSD factors assessing callous-unemotional (CU) traits and impulsivity. However, there were ethnic differences in the factor structure of narcissism. No differences were found between ethnic groups in mean levels of CU traits and impulsivity. Finally, the association between impulsivity and self-reported delinquency was stronger for native Dutch than for immigrant juveniles. Further research is needed in order to make the treatment of juvenile delinquents with psychopathic traits in ethnic minority groups more effective according to the specific needs of these juveniles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-165
JournalPSYCHOLOGY CRIME & LAW
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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