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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011 Nov;52(11):1134-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02412.x. Epub 2011 May 20.

The relationship between juvenile psychopathic traits, delinquency and (violent) recidivism: a meta-analysis.

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Forensic Child and Youth Care Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A meta-analysis of k = 53 studies containing 60 non-overlapping samples and 10,073 participants was conducted to investigate whether psychopathy was associated with delinquency and (violent) recidivism in juveniles. The results showed that psychopathy was moderately associated with delinquency, general recidivism, and violent recidivism. Moderator effects revealed that various study and participant characteristics influenced the strength of the association between psychopathy, delinquency, and (violent) recidivism. It was concluded that screening for the (early) detection of psychopathy is important, as delinquent behavior and recidivism can be predicted from psychopathy as early as the transition from middle childhood to adolescence.

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