Psychopathy in a forensic sample – the factor structure of the PCL:SV in a Danish forensic sample

Sune Bo, Liselotte Pedersen, Karl Bang Christensen, Kirsten Rasmussen

Vitenskapelig artikkel
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2019
Online / DOI:

The research literature reveals an ongoing debate regarding the most appropriate conceptualization of psychopathic personality disorder. Specifically, it is discussed to what degree antisocial behavior is part of the conceptualization of the psychopathy construct and what constitutes the best factor model of the Psychopathy Checklist scales. The aim of the present study is to consider the underlying factor structure of the PCL:SV (Psychopathy Checklist Screening Version) in a Danish sample as well as considering the role of antisocial behavior in the psychopathy construct. Data from a Danish forensic patient sample (N = 225) was used and item response theory (IRT), aonfirmatory factor analyses (CFA) and structural equations model (SEM) analyses were carried out. Overall, the findings suggest appropriate item and model fit for the PCL:SV as well as superiority of the three‐factor model over the four‐factor model. The results are discussed in relation to the broader concept of personality disorder as well as clinical practice in regards to violence risk assessments and treatment of psychopathy.