The term psychopathy is being looked at more to characterize juveniles who lack remorse, empathy, and a sense of morality. a.
Research on juvenile psychopathy is rapidly growing.
Attempts to apply the label psychopathy to juveniles raise several conceptual, methodological, and practical concerns related to forensic practice and juvenile justice policy. c.
Many debate whether psychopathy can or should be applied to juveniles at all. Body
Even if psychopathy can be identified in adolescents the label may have too many negative effects. a.
The label implies that the prognosis for treatment is poor, a high rate of offending and recidivism can be expected, and the intrinsic and biological basis of the disorder means little can be done outside of biological interventions. b.
Another issue that arises contends that psychopathy assessments of youths must achieve a high level of confidence before they can be employed in the juvenile justice system. c.
There is concern that a diagnosis of psychopathy may be used to justify decisions to transfer juveniles to the adult criminal justice system, simply based on the assumption that psychopathy is untreatable. II.
There are several interments that are used to measure pre-adult psychopathy that have been developed in recent years: a.
The Psychopathic Screening Device (PSD)
The Childhood Psychopathy Scale (CPS)
Identifying juvenile psychopaths
In 1964 McCord and McCord contended that juvenile psychopaths are excitement seeking, impulsive, aggressive, and callous. b.
Findings indicate that psychopathic youth are substantially more likely to present psychiatric disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactive disorders, conduct disorder, substance abuse/dependence, and other personality disorders than are non-psychopathic youth offenders. c.
Psychopathic youth exhibit a moderately greater propensity to violence and institutional violence or misbehavior, and earlier and more persistent and varied criminal careers than do non-psychopathic delinquents. d.
Psychopathic youths may evince more “egoistic” and less developed moral reasoning than do their general population counterparts. IV.
Juvenile psychopathy and adult psychopathy
Retrieved results from using the Child Psychopathy Scale
Found that psychopathic children, like their adult counter partners, were more aggressive, severe, frequent, and impulsive offenders. c.
Research is directed at identifying “protective” factors in children who might otherwise be at risk of becoming adult psychopaths d.
In addition to the ethical issues, research remains unclear as to whether juvenile psychopathy is related to persistent violence in adulthood. e.
Psychopathic symptoms in childhood may be very different than those exhibited in adults. f.
Some of the behavioral patterns of children and adolescents may be similar to psychopaths for a variety of reasons but may not necessarily be psychopathic behaviors. V.
The promise of juvenile psychopathy research
The research may allow for effective early legal, psychological and early intervention with youth who might otherwise proceed inexorably to adult psychopathy and to personally and socially costly criminal careers.
Juvenile psychopathy is being looked at more in characterizing those juveniles who lack remorse, empathy, and a sense of morality. Attempts at diagnosing youths as psychopaths have raised “conceptual, methodological and practical concerns related to forensic practice and juvenile justice policy” (Bartol 294). Although research on juvenile psychopathy is limited, it is rapidly growing. Some debate has focused on whether psychopathy can or should be applied to juveniles at all. Others are concerned that, even if psychopathy can be identified in adolescents, the label may have too many negative connotations. Even if psychopathy can be identified in adolescents the label may have...
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