UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Does the screening version of the Psychopathy Checklist measure the same disorder in males and females? Balmer-Labrecque, Jenessa Erin


The Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV) is a tool used to measure the construct of psychopathy in males and females. From a psychometric standpoint, the PCL:SV is administered and scored in the same manner for male and female respondents. The aim of the current study is to investigate using scale and item level statistical techniques if the PCL:SV measures the construct of psychopathy equivalently for males and females. Given the Likert-type nature of the item responses, both Pearson and polychoric correlation techniques were employed in order to compare the more commonly used Pearson to the psychometrically correct polychoric. At the scale level, some PCL:SV items loaded differently for males and females, and not in a manner found in the literature. At the item level, only four items displayed DIF, and the DIF for these items was minimal. These findings suggest that the PCL:SV is measuring the same construct of psychopathy for males and females, but more clearly defines the construct of psychopathy for male respondents. This may, in part, be due to the ways in which males and females express psychopathy; in which case the construct of psychopathy itself needs to be revisited.

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