Juvenile delinquency and psychopathic traits: An empirical study with Portuguese adolescents.


The objective of the present study was to analyze the role of psychopathic traits in juvenile delinquency. Using a sample of 543 young males from the Juvenile Detention Centers of the Portuguese Ministry of Justice and from schools in the Lisbon region, a group of high psychopathic traits (n = 281) and a group of low psychopathic traits (n = 262) were formed based on the Portuguese version of Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD). Results showed that youths with high psychopathic traits start engaging in criminal activities earlier in life, come into contact with the justice system earlier in life, and have higher levels of conduct disorder, behavior problems, and delinquent behaviors as well as lower levels of self-esteem.