Assessing callous-unemotional traits in adolescent offenders: Validation of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits

Eva R. Kimonis, Paul J. Frick, Jennifer L. Skeem, Monica A. Marsee, Keith Cruise, Luna C. Munoz, Katherine J. Aucoin, Amanda S. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

364 Scopus citations


The presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits designates an important subgroup of antisocial youth. To improve upon existing measures, the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) was developed to provide an efficient, reliable, and valid assessment of CU traits in samples of youth. The current study tests the factor structure and correlates of the ICU scale in a sample (n = 248) of juvenile offenders (188 boys, 60 girls) between the ages of 12 and 20 (M = 15.47, SD = 1.37). Confirmatory factor analyses are consistent with the presence of three independent factors (i.e., Uncaring, Callousness, and Unemotional) that relate to a higher-order callous-unemotional dimension. Also, CU traits overall showed associations with aggression, delinquency, and both psychophysiological and self-report indices of emotional reactivity. There were some important differences across the three facets of the ICU in their associations with these key external criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-252
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2008



  • Adolescents
  • Aggression
  • Assessment
  • Callous-unemotional traits
  • Delinquency

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