International journal of law and psychiatry vol:31 issue:3 pages:229-235
In recent years much research effort has been directed at assessing psychopathic personality disorder in juveniles and at devising structured assessment procedures for recidivism risk. Clinicians, however, are often reluctant to incorporate this recent research into their practice. While accepting the importance of a better understanding of the development of psychopathic personality disorder, we discuss three arguments against the uncritical application of current research findings concerning the disorder and its clinical value as a risk factor. We briefly review empirical evidence for the role of the disorder in risk assessment. A developmental psychopathology argument against current thinking about juvenile psychopathic personality disorder, and a criminological argument against risk assessment but in favor of a desistance approach to delinquency are discussed. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.