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J Pers Assess. 1998 Jun;70(3):416-26.

Reliability of file-based retrospective ratings of psychopathy with the PCL-R.

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Section of Forensic Psychiatry, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


A rapidly emerging consensus recognizes Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991) as the most valid and useful instrument to assess psychopathy (Fulero, 1995; Stone, 1995). We compared independent clinical PCL-R ratings of 40 forensic adult male criminal offenders to retrospective file-only ratings. File-based PCL-R ratings, in comparison to the clinical ratings, yielded categorical psychopathy diagnoses with a sensitivity of .57 and a specificity of .96. The intraclass correlation (ICC) of the total scores as estimated by ICC(2,1) was .88, and was markedly better on Factor 2, ICC(2,1) = .89, than on Factor 1, ICC(2,1) = .69. The findings support the belief that for research purposes, file-only PCL-R ratings based on Swedish forensic psychiatric investigation records can be made with good alternate-form reliability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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