Juvenile psychopathic personality traits are associated with poor reading achievement

Michael G. Vaughn, Matt Delisi, Kevin M. Beaver, Jade Wexler, Amy Barth, Jack Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


The current study sought to further the understanding of the linkage between maladaptive behavior and cognitive problems by examining the relations between psychopathic personality traits and reading comprehension performance. Data were derived from a study of 432 predominately African-American and Hispanic middle-school students. Dependent variables consisted of three measures of reading comprehension. Psychopathy measures included the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional traits (ICU-teacher rated) and the self-reported Youth Psychopathic traits Inventory (YPI). Findings from regression models indicated that self-report and teacher ratings of psychopathy were statistically significant inverse predictors of reading performance. Specifically, affective facets of psychopathy were potent predictors of reading comprehension over and above ADHD, IQ, and an impulsivity component of psychopathy. Study results extend the utility of psychopathy construct generally and affective traits specifically to reading achievement, which has broad implications. Findings are discussed with respect to future research and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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