Evaluating Measures of Externalizing Personality Pathology Traits in Black and White American Adolescents in a Program for at-Risk Youths

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Adolescent personality assessment measures can aid in the identification of traits that are associated with various types of maladjustment. Externalizing personality pathology traits (e.g., antisocial, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorder features) are particularly relevant for many problematic outcomes, yet measures that assess these traits have not been validated extensively in diverse samples. The present study aimed to examine the properties of measures of externalizing personality pathology traits in a sample of White (n = 184) and Black (n = 99) adolescents participating in a residential program for at-risk youth. The fit of the proposed structure for these measures was tested in the sample as a whole and in each racial group separately. Associations between these measures and the count of disciplinary infractions received while in the program were also tested. Measures were found to have less than optimal fit in this sample, especially among Black adolescents. Suggestions for future research and clinical use of these measures are discussed.

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Journal of Personality Assessment

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