Psychometric Characteristics of the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version in a Sample of Lithuanian Offenders

Alfredas Laurinavičius, Rita Žukauskienė, Ilona Čėsnienė


Psychopathy is the most important construct of personality disorder in forensic psychology. Psychopathic criminals begin their criminal careers earlier than non-psychopaths, have more varied victims, show “criminal versatility” in that they commit a greater variety of crimes, and their crimes tend to be particularly cold-blooded. Psychopathic offenders commit more violent crimes and recidivate at higher rates than non-psychopathic offenders. They are less likely to show a decline in criminal activity after age 40. The evaluation of psychopathy is very important while making decisions regarding the risk of reconviction and suitability of treatment programmes. This study investigates the psychometric characteristics of the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version in population of Lithuanian offenders. 257 male convicts were randomly selected in each of the 12 Lithuanian correctional institutions and were evaluated using the PCL:SV. Some conceptually psyhopathy-related demographic variables were selected too. The results show good psychometric characteristics of the PCL:SV in the sample of Lithuanian offenders. The PCL:SV total score is normally distributed and resembles distribution of scores of North American offenders, the mean M = 14,63, SD = 5,12 is comparable to means of North American and European offenders. Internal consistency of the PCL:SV is high: the whole scale α = 0,85, First part α = 0,81, Second part α = 0,78. The results of correlational analysis are as expected: the higher PCL:SV scores are significantly related to demographic variables which are conceptually related to the concept of psychopathy. The relations confirm the construct validity of the PCL:SV. The results show that psychometric characteristics of the PCL:SV in Lithuanian offenders sample are as good as in other samples from others countries and this supports the application of the PCL:SV for psychopathy screening in Lithuania.


psychopathy; the PCL:SV; forensic assessment

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789