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Cross-Validation of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits Across Reporters and Genders in a Sample of Detained Youth

NCJ Number
Psychological Assessment Volume: 31 Issue: 1 Dated: 2019 Pages: 15-26
Date Published
12 pages

This study obtained data from a sample of justice-involved adolescents and examined the psychometric properties of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) across caregiver- and youth self-report versions, as well as across genders.


The development of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) has contributed to research on the role of callous-unemotional traits in youth offending; however, findings from recent studies have raised questions about the measure's psychometric properties by yielding discrepant findings about how best to optimize the ICU for capturing meaningful variability in callous-unemotional traits across genders, reporters, and samples. The findings suggested that the ICU functioned differently across caregiver- and youth self-report versions and, thus, that different scale variations may better optimize the use of the ICU for caregiver versus youth self-reports. Specifically, findings from the current study support the use of a youth self-reported ICU scale that excludes reverse-coded items and the caregiver-reported full scale. Minimal gender differences emerged. Continued efforts to optimize the psychometric qualities and functional significance of the ICU, particularly the youth self-report form, may enhance efforts to identify and intervene with the subgroup of youth at particular risk for recidivism. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019