Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R)

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Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), Dr. Robert Hare
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia 2136 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
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Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R)

Dr. Hare has spent over 35 years researching psychopathy and is the developer of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), and a co-author of its derivatives, the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV), the P-Scan, the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV), and the Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD). He is also a co-author of the Guidelines for a Psychopathy Treatment Program. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, with demonstrated reliability and validity, is rapidly being adopted worldwide as the standard instrument for researchers and clinicians. The PCL-R and PCL:SV are strong predictors of recidivism, violence and response to therapeutic intervention. They play an important role in most recent risk-for-violence instruments. The PCL-R was reviewed in Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook (1995), as being the "state of the art" both clinically and in research use. In 2005, the Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook review listed the PCL-R as "a reliable and effective instrument for the measurement of psychopathy and is considered the 'gold standard' for measurement of psychopathy.

A review of the PCL-R by S.M. Fulero in the Twelfth Mental Measurements Yearbook (pages 453-454), J.C. Conoley and J.C. Impara (eds). Lincoln, Nebraska, Buros Institute, described the PCL-R as "state of the art...both clinically and in research use". Recent surveys of the literature have determined that the PCL-R is the single best predictor of violent behaviour currently available.

In clinical settings, the PCL-R is used for psycho-diagnostic purposes. Because an individual's scores may have important consequences for his or her future, the absolute value is of critical importance. The potential for harm is considerable if the PCL-R is used incorrectly, or if the user is not familiar with the clinical and empirical literature pertaining to psychopathy.

Clinicians should:

  • Possess an advanced degree in the social, medical, or behavioral sciences, such as a Ph.D., D.Ed. or M.D.
  • Be registered with the local state or provincial registration body that regulates the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorder (e.g., psychological or psychiatric association);
  • Have experience with forensic populations (as demonstrated by registration as a diploma in forensic psychology or psychiatry, completion of a practicum or internship in a clinical-forensic setting,or at least two years of relevant work-related experience)
  • Limit their use of the PCL-R to those populations in which it has been fully validated. The manual, published in 1991, stated that this meant only adult male forensic populations (e.g.,institutional or community correctional facilities, forensic psychiatric hospitals, and pre trial evaluation or detention facilities.) However, there now is enough empirical evidence to support its use with female and adolescent offenders, as well as with sex offenders.
  • Insure that they have adequate training and experience in the use of the PCL-R. We further recommend that, wherever possible, the PCL-R scores of two independent raters should be averaged so as to increase the reliability of the assessment.

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