Abstract: Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by such traits as superficial charm, pathologic egocentricity, untruthfulness and insincerity, and a lack of remorse or shame (Cleckley, 1941). Although not formally recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSM–IV; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), psychopathy is a personality disorder typically studied among adult criminal offenders. However, research paradigms have begun to identify developmental precursors in childhood and adolescence (see Frick, 1995, 2006; Lynam, 1996). Similar to adults, psychopathic traits in youth identify those at risk for antisocial and violent behavior who show deficits in emotional and fearful responding (see Frick & Marsee, 2006). Traditional theoretical perspectives on psychopathy view these individuals as a largely homogeneous group, as evidenced by many of the diagnostic measures used to classify them (Andershed, Kerr, Stattin, & Levander, 2002; Hare, 2003; Forth, Kosson, & Hare, 2003; Lynam, 1996). However, the traditional conceptualization of psychopathy as a unitary construct has been challenged, highlighting evidence of measurable heterogeneity among individuals classified as “psychopaths” (see Skeem, Poythress, Edens, Lilienfeld, & Cale, 2003).
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