Elaborating on the longitudinal measurement invariance and construct validity of the Triarchic psychopathy scales from the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire

Carlo Garofalo*, Josh Weller, L. Kirisci, Maureen Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Because the construct of psychopathy is of chief interest across different disciplines, spanning developmental, clinical, and forensic psychology, its assessment bears far-reaching implications. One prominent contemporary conceptualization of psychopathy, the Triarchic Model, posits that a psychopathic personality encompasses three phenotypic constructs: boldness, meanness, and disinhibition. Recently, triarchic scales have been derived based on items from the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), and the psychometric characteristics of this approach (MPQ-triarchic [MPQ-Tri]) are promising. The present study examined the longitudinal measurement invariance and the construct validity of the MPQ-Tri scales in a large and diverse high-risk sample (N = 716) across four time points from age 16–25. First, we report and discuss implications of confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses of the MPQ-Tri scales. Next, we report evidence for longitudinal configural and partial scalar invariance. In addition, in line with previous studies, MPQ-Boldness showed relatively higher levels of rank-order and mean-level stability compared to MPQ-Meanness and Disinhibition. Finally, in terms of construct validity, the MPQ-Tri scales showed a pattern of association with external correlates across internalizing and externalizing domains that were largely in line with theoretical expectations. One partial exception concerned the limited discriminant validity of the MPQ-Meanness and Disinhibition scales. On balance, the present findings suggest that the MPQ-Tri scales fulfill their intended purpose, with some noted limitation, and provide grounds for the use of the MPQ-Tri scales in developmentally-informed studies on the etiology and consequences of psychopathy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890–903
JournalPsychological Assessment
Volume33
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • BEHAVIOR
  • BOLDNESS
  • CHECKLIST
  • CHILDHOOD
  • CONCEPTUALIZATION
  • DECISION-MAKING
  • FEARLESS DOMINANCE
  • MODEL
  • TRAITS
  • VALIDATION
  • boldness
  • disinhibition
  • meanness
  • psychopathic personality
  • triarchic model

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