The Validity of the Personality Assessment Inventory: Adolescent In Assessing Callous-Unemotional Traits In At-Risk Adolescents

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This study examines the validity of the Personality Assessment Inventory–Adolescent (PAI-A; Morey) in assessing callous-unemotional (CU) traits within two independent samples of at-risk adolescents from a residential intervention program. The study tests the extent to which CU traits are represented within PAI-A scales with respect to empirically- or theoretically-related indicators, such as antisociality, aggression, low warmth, low social connectedness, and subdued internalizing psychopathology. The PAI-A substantive scales statistically accounted for an average of 55.0% of the variance in total scores on the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU; Frick) across samples. Broadly, PAI-A substantive scales evinced theoretically-consistent relations with CU traits. Consistent with expectations, CU traits were broadly related to PAI-A-assessed constructs of antisocial features, aggression, low warmth and social disconnection, but not to subdued internalizing symptoms. Moreover, some of the PAI-A clinical, treatment consideration, and interpersonal scales or subscales demonstrated differential relations across the traits. Implications for assessment of CU traits using the PAI framework are discussed. Overall, this research adds to the literature on CU traits in broadband personality assessment and provides a foundation for future research on CU traits using the PAI-A.

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Journal of Personality Assessment

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