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Psychological assessment and treatment of adolescent offenders with psychopathic personality traits.

Cooper, S. and Tiffin, P. A. (2006) 'Psychological assessment and treatment of adolescent offenders with psychopathic personality traits.', Educational and child psychology., 23 (2). pp. 62-74.


Young people with psychopathic traits are encountered relatively frequently in custodial and other forensic settings. For a number of reasons such individuals pose a challenge to those professionals working with them. This paper aims to summarise the current literature regarding possibilities for assessing and treating adolescents with offending behaviours affected by psychopathic personality traits. The literature strongly indicates that offenders with psychopathic personality traits engage in various types of offending behaviour at a much higher rate than offenders without psychopathic traits, both inside and outside institutional settings. A number of therapeutic approaches have been attempted and these are outlined. Research findings to date indicate that such young people may be more difficult to engage and less amenable to intervention than other individuals with offending behaviours. In the face of such practical challenges professionals working with these individuals are likely to require considerable support and training. Because this group can generate negative reactions in staff working with them, consideration must be given to how staff can be best prepared for and supported in this work. The importance of multi-disciplinary working during assessment and treatment is highlighted.

Item Type:Article
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Record Created:10 Jul 2012 10:20
Last Modified:11 Jul 2012 10:39

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