A Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Psychopathy Checklist and Risk Assessment Instrument Scores



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Assessing risk for future violence or reoffense is a common and important task for forensic evaluators. Indeed, these assessments are among the most common requests received by forensic evaluators. To conduct such evaluations most accurately and efficiently, it is important for forensic evaluators to have knowledge about the tools they utilize in assessments and how they may interact with and/or overlap with one another, an area of research that is greatly underdeveloped. The current study aimed the examine the relationship between Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) measure total, factor, and facet scores and risk assessment total scores. Although the PCL family of measures were not created as risk assessment measures, they have come to be used in risk assessments due to moderate correlations between PCL scores and recidivism. Random-effects meta-analytic procedures were utilized to determine the mean correlation between PCL measures and risk assessment measures found in existent literature or received from authors of papers in the risk assessment literature. Overall, results suggest a moderate to large correlation between PCL Factor 2, facet 3, and facet 4 scores and risk assessment measures and small to moderate correlations between PCL Factor 1, facet 1, and facet 2 scores. Additionally, correlations between PCL Factor 2, facet 3, and facet 4 scores meet or exceed r = .70 for many specific risk assessments suggesting these PCL components may be completely redundant with preexisting risk assessment measures.



Psychology, Clinical