Predictive validity of the PCL-R for offenders with intellectual disability in a high security hospital: treatment progress

Morrisey , Catrin and Mooney, Paul and Hogue , Todd and Lindsay , William R. and Taylor, John L. (2007) Predictive validity of the PCL-R for offenders with intellectual disability in a high security hospital: treatment progress. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 32 (2). pp. 125-133. ISSN 1366-8250

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Predictive validity of the PCL-R for offenders with intellectual disability in a high security hospital: Treatment progress
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Abstract

Background Among mainstream offenders, the severe personality disorder of psychopathy has considerable importance as a construct. The disorder has long been associated with failure to make treatment progress. Previous work has identified that psychopathy as a disorder occurs in samples of offenders with intellectual disability (ID), and suggests that the Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R: Hare, 1991, 2003) as a measure of the disorder has adequate reliability and validity (Morrissey et al., 2005). The present study aimed to compare the predictive power of the PCL-R in relation to treatment progress with a more general assessment of violence risk, the HCR-20 (Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, 1997).

Method A sample of 73 residents in a high security intellectual disability service, who had previously been assessed using the PCL-R and the HCR-20, were followed up at 2 years post-assessment, and their outcome determined in terms of two distinct dichotomous variables reflecting definite positive treatment progress and definite negative treatment progress respectively.

Results In line with predictions, the PCL-R Total score and Factor 1 score (Interpersonal and Affective aspects of psychopathy) and the HCR-20 Total score were significantly inversely associated with a positive move from high to medium security hospital conditions within 2 years of assessment. However against prediction, the PCL-R Total score had incremental validity over the HCR-20. The PCL-R Total and Factor 1, but not the HCR-20 Total score, were also significantly associated with negative treatment progress in terms of a move to more restricted treatment conditions.

Conclusion Psychopathy, and in particular its interpersonal and affective manifestations, is a construct which appears to be associated with indirect measures of treatment progress in this high security ID group. However, caution should be applied in the use of a construct with potentially negative connotations in an already devalued population.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Background Among mainstream offenders, the severe personality disorder of psychopathy has considerable importance as a construct. The disorder has long been associated with failure to make treatment progress. Previous work has identified that psychopathy as a disorder occurs in samples of offenders with intellectual disability (ID), and suggests that the Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R: Hare, 1991, 2003) as a measure of the disorder has adequate reliability and validity (Morrissey et al., 2005). The present study aimed to compare the predictive power of the PCL-R in relation to treatment progress with a more general assessment of violence risk, the HCR-20 (Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, 1997). Method A sample of 73 residents in a high security intellectual disability service, who had previously been assessed using the PCL-R and the HCR-20, were followed up at 2 years post-assessment, and their outcome determined in terms of two distinct dichotomous variables reflecting definite positive treatment progress and definite negative treatment progress respectively. Results In line with predictions, the PCL-R Total score and Factor 1 score (Interpersonal and Affective aspects of psychopathy) and the HCR-20 Total score were significantly inversely associated with a positive move from high to medium security hospital conditions within 2 years of assessment. However against prediction, the PCL-R Total score had incremental validity over the HCR-20. The PCL-R Total and Factor 1, but not the HCR-20 Total score, were also significantly associated with negative treatment progress in terms of a move to more restricted treatment conditions. Conclusion Psychopathy, and in particular its interpersonal and affective manifestations, is a construct which appears to be associated with indirect measures of treatment progress in this high security ID group. However, caution should be applied in the use of a construct with potentially negative connotations in an already devalued population.
Keywords:Intellectual disability, psychopathy, offenders, assessment, Forensic Psychology
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:2860
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:09 Jul 2010 14:41
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:41

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