Measurement Invariance of the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory Among Adjudicated Youth



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The majority of the research on psychopathy has been conducted in adults, however, over the last several decades, researchers have become increasingly interested in the presentation of psychopathic traits in children and adolescents. Within the last two decades, the use of self-report measures has grown substantially, with the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI) quickly raising in popularity and availability. In more recent years, a growing body of work has been dedicated to investigating and examining to what extent latent dimensions of psychopathy generalize to different ethnicities, cultures, and sexual orientations. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the factor structure of the YPI in a sample of male and female juvenile offenders, examining the extent in which adult representations of the latent factor structure of psychopathy is replicated with an adolescent sample. Additionally, measurement invariance for sex/gender (male and female) and ethnicity (Black, White, and Hispanic) was examined. A confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor model of psychopathy fits the YPI best. Results showed that sex/gender was supported through metric invariance. Invariance analysis for ethnicity revealed only configural invariance was supported across all three ethnicities. Partial metric invariance was supported for White and Hispanic comparisons and Black and Hispanic comparisons. Scalar invariance was not supported for across any of the ethnicities. Overall, the conclusion is that the YPI is useful at broadly detecting three dominant dimensions of psychopathy (interpersonal, behavioral, and affective dimensions) and appears to be interpreted consistently across groups of adolescents for the most part.



Psychology, Psychometrics