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The Dark Triad is a term used to describe a constellation of three socially undesirable personality traits: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. The aim of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Dirty Dozen scale, a brief measure of the Dark Triad, among a sample of 412 at-risk youths from Portugal (M = 13.19 years; SD = 1.41; age range = 12-17 years), composed of male (n = 200; M = 13.32 years; SD = 1.41 years) and female youths (n = 212; M = 13.08 years; SD = 1.41 years). As expected, our translation had a three-factor structure that was invariant across the sexes. Adequate psychometric properties were demonstrated in terms of internal consistency (i.e., Cronbach´s alpha and Omega coefficient), convergent validity (i.e., with measures of self-reported delinquency, and sensation seeking), discriminant validity (i.e., with measures of self-esteem, and self-control), criterion-related validity (i.e., with drug use, and risky sex), and know-groups validity (boys versus girls). We also found that sex differences in self-reported delinquency were partially mediated by sex differences in the Dark Triad traits. Our findings suggest the Dirty Dozen is a valid and useful measure in the study of at-risk for delinquency adolescents.
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DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 1
Running-head: DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS
Dirty Dozen: A concise measure of Dark Triad traits among at-risk youths
Pedro Pechorro *
University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Peter K. Jonason
Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia
Vanessa Raposo
Lusófona University of Humanities and Technologies, Lisbon, Portugal
João Maroco
William James Centre for Research, ISPA Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal
* Address corresponding to Pedro Pechorro. School of Psychology, University of
Minho, Portugal. Postal address: Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal. Phone:
+351 253601397. Email: ppechorro@gmail.com
Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was partially funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and
Technology (FCT; Grant SFRH/BPD/86666/2012).
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 2
Abstract
The Dark Triad is a term used to describe a constellation of three socially undesirable
personality traits: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. The aim of the present study
was to examine the psychometric properties of the Dirty Dozen scale, a brief measure of the
Dark Triad, among a sample of 412 at-risk youths from Portugal (M = 13.19 years; SD = 1.41;
age range = 12-17 years), composed of male (n = 200; M = 13.32 years; SD = 1.41 years) and
female youths (n = 212; M = 13.08 years; SD = 1.41 years). As expected, our translation had a
three-factor structure that was invariant across the sexes. Adequate psychometric properties
were demonstrated in terms of internal consistency (i.e., Cronbach´s alpha and Omega
coefficient), convergent validity (i.e., with measures of self-reported delinquency, and sensation
seeking), discriminant validity (i.e., with measures of self-esteem, and self-control), criterion-
related validity (i.e., with drug use, and risky sex), and know-groups validity (boys versus girls).
We also found that sex differences in self-reported delinquency were partially mediated by sex
differences in the Dark Triad traits. Our findings suggest the Dirty Dozen is a valid and useful
measure in the study of at-risk for delinquency adolescents.
Keywords: Assessment; Dirty Dozen; Dark Triad; Youth; Validation
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 3
Recently there has been an explosion of interest in the Dark Triad traits (i.e.,
psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism) which are three related, socially undesirable
personality traits (Paulhus & Williams, 2002). Psychopathy manifests in emotional callousness
and remorselessness, narcissism is related with egotism and a grandiose view of the self, and
Machiavellianism is characterized by manipulation of other people and an absence of
internalized morality. This interest in Dark Triad traits compliments most work in personality
psychology on the Big Five traits (Furnham, Richards, & Paulhus, 2013). One reason for this
increased in interest has been the development of concise measures of the traits, one of which is
the Dirty Dozen measure (Jonason & Webster, 2010). This 12-item measure has considerable
psychometric evidence to support its utility in English (Maples, Lamkin, & Miller, 2014), Polish
(Czarna, Jonason, Dufner, & Kossowska, 2016), German (Küfner, Dufner, & Back, 2015),
Japanese (Tamura, Oshio, Tanaka, Masui, & Jonason, 2015), Turkish (Özsoya, Rauthmann,
Jonason, & Ardıç, 2017), French-Canadian (Savard, Simard, & Jonason, 2017), Italian (Chiorri,
Garofalo, & Velotti, in press; Schimmenti et al., in press), and Spanish (Pineda, Sandín, &
Muris, in press) speaking samples.
There is a wider range of variables of interest when studying the Dark Triad traits and
cause to examine the utility of this scale in other countries (Jonason, Li, & Czarna, 2013). For
example, the Dark Triad traits are correlated with “risky” sexual behavior (Jonason, Li,
Webster, & Schmitt, 2009), drug use (Gott & Hetzel-Riggin, 2018), impulsivity (Jones &
Paulhus, 2011), limited self-control (Jonason & Tost, 2010), and petty theft (Lyons & Jonason,
2015), all of which may manifest themselves in adolescent samples (Chabrol, Van Leeuwen,
Rodgers, & Séjourné, 2009; Klimstra, Sijtsema, Henrichs, & Cima, 2014; Lau & Marsee, 2013)
and have relevance to various psychosocial outcomes.
The existing literature suggests that Dark Triad traits, in general, consistently tend to be
more prevalent in men than in women (e.g., Carter, Campbell, Muncer, & Carter, 2015; Czarna
et al., 2016; Furnham & Trickey, 2011). Life history models of the Dark Triad traits (Jonason,
Koenig, & Tost, 2010) suggest that men may be better characterized by and benefited more over
evolutionary time from engaging in selfish and antisocial approaches to life. In contrast, while
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 4
women may reap some rewards from engaging in Dark Triad style behavior, they also are more
likely to suffer more costs than men are from both social and reproductive sources. As such,
several studies have shown that the Dark Triad traits facilitate (i.e., mediate) sex differences in
important outcomes like interest in casual sex (see Jonason et al., 2009). If we apply this to
delinquency behaviors in youths, we expect that boys will be better characterized by the Dark
Triad traits and delinquency traits than girls do and that the former traits will mediate sex
differences in the latter. In addition, to better ensure that these sex differences and mediation
effects are trustworthy, we replicate them after testing for measurement invariance (Millsap &
Olivera-Aguilar, 2012).
Research on the Dark Triad traits, however, has focused almost exclusively on
participants in college or adult community members. As far as we can tell, there have been six
investigations of these traits in individuals under the age of 18 years (see below). Most of the
studies assessing Dark Triad traits among school and community samples of youths found
unique positive associations between each of these traits and various forms of delinquent
behavior (Chabrol et al., 2009; Wright et al., 2017), aggression (Kerig & Stellwagen, 2010;
Muris, Meesters, & Timmermans, 2013), emotional/behavioral dysregulation (Lau & Marsee,
2013), and risk-taking (Malesza & Ostaszewski, 2016). Regarding the psychometric properties
of the Dirty Dozen measure, we are only aware of one study using a school sample of Dutch
youths (Klimstra et al., 2014) that provided strong evidence for the validity, reliability, and
measurement invariance of data collected with this measure, and also showed the unique
associations of each Dark Triad trait with particular forms of aggression.
The current study examines the psychometric properties and utility of the Dark Triad
Dirty Dozen scale (Jonason & Webster, 2010) among a sample of at-risk male and female
Portuguese youths. This is the first study examining the Dark Triad traits among Portuguese
youths and one of the few examining such traits in people under 18 years of age. We predicted
that the Dirty Dozen would (1) confirm the presumed three-factor structure and demonstrate
cross-sex invariance; (2) demonstrate adequate internal consistency; (3) show convergent
validity with measures of youth delinquency and sensation seeking, and discriminant validity
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 5
with measures of self-esteem and self-control; (4) show criterion-related validity with outcomes
like drug use and risky unprotected sex; (5) show in terms of known-groups validity that boys
will score higher than girls; and (6) demonstrate that sex differences in self-reported
delinquency are mediated by individual differences in Dark Triad traits.
Method
Participants
We used a convenience sample of volunteers who were recruited from public schools
managed by the Portuguese Ministry of Education located in disadvantaged and impoverished
zones with high rates of criminality in the greater Lisbon area. The population that resides in
these zones tends to suffer from social exclusion, and has limited access to resources and
economic opportunities. A school sample aged 12 to 17 of 412 participants (Mage = 13.19
years; SDage = 1.41), was composed of male participants (n = 200; Mage = 13.32 years; SDage =
1.41 years) and female participants (n = 212; Mage = 13.08 years; SDage = 1.41 years).
The participants were white Europeans (74.9%) and members of ethnic minorities
(25.1%; e.g., black Africans, mixed race from South-America) from an urban background. Most
had a low socioeconomic status (88.6%) and had completed an average of six years of education
(M = 5.78, SD = .94, range = 410 years). About 18.3% of the participants reported getting into
problems with the law in the last 12 months and three participants reported having been
previously incarcerated into juvenile detention centers.
Measures
The Dirty Dozen (DD; Jonason & Webster, 2010) is a brief measure of the Dark Triad
traits and is composed of subscales of Machiavellianism (e.g., “I have used deceit or lied to get
my way.”), Psychopathy (e.g., “I tend to lack remorse.”), and Narcissism (e.g., “I tend to want
others to admire me.”) dimensions. Participants completed the 12 items by denoting their
agreement (Strongly disagree = 1; Strongly agree = 5). Internal consistency values for the
current Portuguese adaptation of this measure are reported in Table 5.
We used the Self-Report Delinquency (SRD; Elliott, Ageton, & Huizinga, 1985), which
was created for the original National Youth Survey (NYS), a longitudinal study of delinquent
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 6
behavior among American youth. The scale was developed with the intention of including items
(e.g., “Been involved in gang fights.”) that were representative of the full range of acts for
which juveniles could be arrested and involved a recall period of one year. The scale can be
scored by adding the 24 item scores on a 9-point ordinal scale (Never = 1; Two-Three times a
day = 9). Higher scores indicate higher levels of juvenile delinquency. The Portuguese version
of the scale (Pechorro, Lima, Simões, & DeLisi, in press) was used with a 5-point ordinal scale.
Item scores were summed to create an index of self-reported delinquency (Cronbach’s α = .91).
The Add Health Self-Report Delinquency (AHSRD) was designed for the National
Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a prospective study of American
adolescents in the seventh through the twelfth grade (Udry, 2003). The scale can be scored by
adding the 10 item scores of the Non-violent factor (e.g., Take something from a store without
paying for it.”) and the seven item scores of the Violent factor (e.g., “Pull a knife or a gun on
someone.”) on a 4-point ordinal scale (None = 0; Five or more times = 3). Higher scores
indicate higher levels of juvenile delinquency. The Portuguese version of the scale was used
(Pechorro, Moreira, Basto-Pereira, Oliveira, & Ray, in press). Item scores were summed to
create an index of self-reported delinquency (α = .90).
The Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS; Hoyle, Stephenson, Palmgreen, Lorch, &
Donohew, 2002) was used as a measure of individual differences in the four basic facets of
sensation seeking, namely: Experience Seeking, Boredom Susceptibility, Thrill and Adventure
Seeking, and Disinhibition. The scale can be scored by adding the eight item scores (e.g., “I like
wild parties.”) on a 5-point ordinal scale (Strongly disagree = 1; Strongly agree = 5). Higher
scores indicate higher levels of sensation-seeking. The Portuguese version of the scale was used
(Pechorro, Castro, Hoyle, & Simões, 2018). Item scores were summed to create an index of
sensation-seeking (α = .83).
The Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS; Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone, 2004) is a short
self-report measure of general self-control. The scale can be scored (after reverse scoring the
appropriate items) by adding the item scores (e.g., “I am good at resisting temptation.”) on a 5-
point ordinal scale (Not at all like me = 0; Very much like me = 4). Higher scores indicate higher
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 7
levels of self-control. The Portuguese version of the scale was used (Pechorro, Pontes, DeLisi,
Alberto, & Simões, in press). Item scores were summed to create an index of self-control (α =
.83).
The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1989) was used to assess juvenile
self-esteem. The scale can be scored by adding the 10 item scores (e.g., “I take a positive
attitude toward myself.”) on a 4-point ordinal scale (Strongly Disagree = 0; Strongly Agree = 3)
after reverse scoring the appropriate items. Higher scores indicate higher levels of self-esteem.
The Portuguese version of the scale was used (Pechorro, Marôco, Poiares, & Vieira, 2011). Item
scores were summed to create an index of self-esteem (α = .77).
An ad hoc questionnaire was designed to describe the participants’ socio-demographic
characteristics, including variables such as age, sex, ethnicity, years of education completed,
socioeconomic status, tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and having risky unprotected sex
(these last variables coded as five point ordinal variables from 0 = Almost never/Never, to 4 =
Almost always/Always). Socioeconomic status was measured by taking into consideration both
the parental level of education and the parental profession, appropriate to the Portuguese reality
(Simões, 2000). Three levels of socioeconomic status were considered: low, middle, and high.
Procedure
The standard procedure of back-translation was used (van de Vijver, 2016). The
translation from English into Portuguese was completed by the first and third authors of this
article, taking into consideration a previous translation of the Dirty Dozen for use with
adolescents (Muris et al., 2013) and also previous translation procedures of Dark Triad traits
measures (e.g., Malesza, Ostaszewski, Büchner, & Kaczmarek, in press). The back-translation
into English being completed by a professional native English speaker translator. Discrepancies
were revised until a consensus was reached and no semantic differences were detected between
the English version and the Portuguese version of the Dirty Dozen. We strived to use an easy
but correct grammar. Then this version of the translation was piloted tested on a small group of
youths not included in the present investigation to make sure they could properly understand the
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 8
meaning of the items. This way we made sure that the wording of the items was adequate to the
comprehension and reading level of the participants.
The General Directorate of Education of the Portuguese Ministry of Education (DGE-
ME) granted the permission to assess the participants coming from three public schools of the
greater Lisbon area. The participants were informed about the nature of the study and asked to
voluntarily collaborate. The participation rate was around 86%. Approximately equal
proportions of participants were selected from each of the three schools, and the participants’
sociodemographic characterization was considered quite similar. Some youths did not agree to
collaborate or were not able to collaborate (e.g., refused to participate, did not have
authorization from their legal tutors, had low reading ability). The measures were administered
in small group settings. Parental authorization to participate was mandatory and was previously
obtained. Informed consent was obtained from all participants.
Data analysis
Data were analyzed using SPSS v25 (IBM Corp., 2017) and EQS 6.3 (Bentler & Wu,
2015). The factor structure was assessed with Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) performed
in EQS 6.3 with the robust estimation methods. CFA’s were performed on the ordinal items and
items with standardized loadings below .30 were excluded. Goodness-of-fit indices were
calculated to assess the different models tested. A Satorra-Bentler chi-square (S-Bχ²)/degrees of
freedom value < 5 was considered acceptable, a value ≤2 was considered good, and a value of =
1 was considered very good (Blunch, 2016; Maroco, 2014). A CFI ≥ .90 and RMSEA ≤ .08
indicated adequate fit whereas a CFI ≥ .95 and RMSEA ≤ .06 indicated good model fit. IFI
values of .90 were considered acceptable, and the model with the lowest AIC value should be
selected. No modification indices were used. Measurement invariance across participant sex
was investigated by testing configural, metric, and scalar invariance. Prior research suggests that
changes in CFI equal to or less than .01, and changes in RMSEA of equal to or less than .015
provides evidence in support of invariance (Chen, 2007; Cheung & Rensvold, 2002).
ANOVAs were used to examine differences between the male and female groups,
including the partial Eta squared (ηp2) effect size. Chi-square tests were used to compare
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 9
nominal variables, including the phi (Φ) effect size. Cronbach’s alpha (α) and omega (ω)
coefficients (considered satisfactory if above .70), mean inter-item correlations (MIIC;
considered good if within the .15-.50 range), and corrected item-total correlation ranges
(CITCR; considered adequate if above .30) were used to assess reliability (Blunch, 2016; Dunn,
Baguley, & Brunsden, 2014). Correlations and partial correlations were used to evaluate
convergent, discriminant validity, and criterion-related validity (Finch, Immekus, & French,
2016). Correlations were considered low if below .20, moderate if between .20 and .50, and
high if above .50 (Ferguson, 2009). Fisher’s z (2-tailed) test was used to test differences
between two independent correlation coefficients. We also examined the intercorrelations
among the total score and the factor scores in order to further examine its construct validity.
The approach to mediation developed by Baron and Kenny (1986) was followed to test
whether sex differences in delinquency might be accounted for (i.e., mediated) by sex
differences in the Dark Triad traits given that there was reasonably normally distributed data
and a sufficiently large sample size (Fritz, Kenny, & MacKinnon, 2016). The PROCESS Macro
(Hayes, 2012, 2013) software was used, with bootstrapping being done with 5,000 samples.
Results
Sociodemographic characteristics
In the initial stage of data analysis (Table 1), the socio-demographic variables were
examined taking into account the sex of the participants. No differences were found between
males and females regarding age [F(1, 410) = 2.74; p = .10; ηp2 = .01], years of education (F(1,
410) = 3.44; p = .06; ηp2 = .01)], ethnicity [χ2(1)= 0.00, p = 1, Φ = .00]; nationality [χ2(1)= 3.16,
p = .08, Φ = .09], and SES [χ2(2)= 3.26, p = .25, Φ = .09].
[Insert Table 1 about here]
Psychometric properties
Regarding the psychometric properties of our translation of the Dirty Dozen into
Portuguese using confirmatory factor analysis we found that a three-dimensional model fit the
data best (see Table 2; Figure 1) and that there was measurement invariance across the sexes
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 10
with the ΔS-B χ2(df) being non-significant (see Table 3). We also report the correlations
between the traits in men, women, and overall (see Table 4).
[Insert Tables 2, 3, 4, and Figure 1 about here]
In terms of Cronbach’s α, coefficients, mean inter-item correlations, and corrected
item-total correlations (see Table 5), we found sufficient-to-good internal consistency (Schmitt,
1996). However, the Machiavellianism and Psychopathy dimensions failed to meet the .30
threshold for the corrected item-total correlations, indicating that the associations between the
items of each of these dimensions were weaker than expected.
[Insert Table 5 about here]
Next, we examined the nomological network surrounding the Dirty Dozen measure in
Portuguese youth. Table 6 contains the convergent validity with measures of self-reported
delinquency and sensation-seeking, and the discriminant validity with self-esteem and self-
control. Using Fisher’s z (2-tailed) tests for independent correlations, we compared the
correlations in boys and girls displayed in Table 6 and found evidence that some correlations
were significantly different across sex (e.g., the correlations between narcissism and
delinquency stronger in males than in females). Using partial correlations to control for the
remaining dimensions of the Dark Triad trait (i.e., controlling for shared variance) among the
total sample we found some unique associations (e.g., the three dark triad traits showed mostly
similar statistically significant associations with delinquency).
[Insert Table 6 about here]
We also examined the criterion-related validity. Table 7 presents the correlations with
tobacco, alcohol, cannabis use, cocaine/heroin use, and unprotected sex. Fisher’s z (2-tailed)
tests for independent correlations indicated that some correlations were significantly different
across sex (e.g., the correlation between narcissism and substance use was stronger in males
than in females). Using partial correlations to control for the remaining dimensions of the Dirty
Dozen among the total sample, we found some unique associations (e.g., Machiavellianism was
the only dimension associated with alcohol use).
[Insert Table 7 about here]
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 11
In terms of known-groups validity boys obtained higher scores on Machiavellianism
[t(353.71) = -3.40, p < .01, Cohen’s d for effect size = 0.36; Mboys = 5.83, SDboys = 1.88; Mgirls =
5.27, SDgirls = 1.35], psychopathy [t(361.23) = -2.13, p < .05, d = 0.22; Mboys = 6.92, SDboys =
3.01; Mgirls = 6.35, SDgirls = 2.26], and narcissism scores [t(339.35) = -3.82, p ≤.001, d = 0.42;
Mboys = 6.68, SDboys = 3.05; Mgirls = 5.68, SDgirls = 2.01].
Mediation analysis
In terms of the mediation analysis we tested each Dark Triad trait independently, and
we found three instances of partial mediation. The relationship between sex and delinquency
[Total Effect = 2.96, SE = 0.48, t = 6.14, p < .001, 95% CI (2.01, 3.91)] was partially mediated
by Machiavellianism as the direct effect between sex and delinquency remained significant after
Machiavellianism was added [Direct Effect = 2.28, SE = 0.45, t = 5.12, p < .001, 95% CI (1.41,
3.16)], and the indirect effect of Machiavellianism were significant [Indirect Effect = 0.68, Boot
SE = 0.25, 95% CI (.28, 1.29), p<.05]. It was partially mediated by psychopathy as the direct
effect between sex and delinquency remained significant after psychopathy was added [Direct
Effect = 2.72, SE = 0.47, t = 5.76, p < .001, 95% CI (1.79, 3.65)], and the indirect effect of
psychopathy were significant [Indirect Effect = 0.24, Boot SE = 0.13, 95% CI (.04, .53), p<.05].
Finally, it was also partially mediated by narcissism as the direct effect between sex and
delinquency remained significant after narcissism was added [Direct Effect = 2.35, SE = 0.46, t
= 5.07, p < .001, 95% CI (1.43, 3.26)], and the indirect effect of Narcissism were significant
[Indirect Effect = 0.61, Boot SE = 0.24, 95% CI (.26, 1.24); p<.05].
Discussion
In this study we aimed to assess the psychometric properties of the Dirty Dozen among
a Portuguese sample of at-risk male and female youths. The three-dimensional model that fit the
data best was like the original English version (Jonason & Webster, 2010). Consistent with
previous research our findings suggest that the three Dark Triad traits are separable entities in
adolescents like they are in adults (Klimstra et al., 2014). Metric and scalar measurement
invariance was also demonstrated in both sexes. This is quite relevant because scale validity is
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 12
ultimately the most important feature of scale construction and validation (Hamby, Ickes, &
Babcock, 2016). This leads us to conclude that our first hypothesis was confirmed.
We found acceptable internal consistency values in terms of Cronbach’s alpha for the
Portuguese translated version of the Dirty Dozen that was equivalent in each sex, but again our
values were lower the ones reported by Klimstra et al. (2014). The Omega coefficients, which
are better true reliability estimators than alpha, presented considerably higher values (Dunn et
al., 2014). The intercorrelations between the Dark Triad traits, however, were not as high as the
ones reported by Klimstra et al. (2014) among youths from the Netherlands, possibly caused by
sampling error as per our at-risk Portuguese sample. Nevertheless, our results provide overall
evidence for the psychometric validity and reliability in boys and girls. This means that not only
does the scale return similar properties as translations in other languages, it paves the way for
potential cross-cultural studies and presents of picture of universality in the nature of these traits
in measurement properties. As such, our second hypothesis was also confirmed.
We also made a wide-scale nomological network assessment to evaluate the validity of
the translation of the Dirty Dozen. We found good validity for the translation through the
assessment of the nomological network surrounding the Portuguese translation among youths.
Focusing on the partial-correlations among the total sample the convergent validity with self-
reported delinquency and sensation-seeking was generally demonstrated. The three dimensions
of the Dirty Dozen showed mostly similar positive associations with self-reported delinquency,
with narcissism showing slightly lower values. This is consistent with the recent finding that the
nomological networks of psychopathy and Machiavellianism overlap substantially (Vize,
Lynam, Collison, & Miller, 2018). The narcissism and Machiavellianism dimensions showed
the strongest associations with sensation-seeking consistent with some previous research
(Crysel, Crosier, & Webster, 2013) even after controlling for the remaining dimensions of the
Dirty Dozen. The discriminant validity with self-esteem and self-control was generally
demonstrated. In line with previous research, negative correlations were found between
psychopathy and self-esteem (Pechorro et al., 2014) and between Machiavellianism and self-
control (Jonason & Tost, 2010). Criterion-related validity with tobacco, alcohol, cannabis use,
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 13
cocaine/heroin use, and unprotected sex was also demonstrated as expected (e.g., Flexon,
Meldrum, Young, & Lehmann, 2016; Jonason, Koenig & Tost, 2010). After controlling for the
remaining dimensions of the Dirty Dozen, significant associations were found between
narcissism and tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine/heroin use; between Machiavellianism and
alcohol use; and between psychopathy and risky unprotected sex. Thus, our third and fourth
hypotheses were supported.
The sex of the participant played in important role in understanding the Dark Triad
traits. Sex differences in Dark Triad traits were consistent with most previous studies among
adults and youths, with males tending to score higher than females (e.g., Carter et al., 2015;
Czarna et al., 2016; Furnham & Trickey, 2011). It is worth mentioning that Cohen’s effect size
d was lower for psychopathy than for Machiavellianism and narcissism, which might be
attributed to the at-risk characteristics of our sample, that is, a higher effect size for psychopathy
could be expected if our sample was a forensic sample. Our findings regarding these sex
differences are supported by the measurement invariance previously reported that excludes
measurement error. There was also clear evidence that boys tended to present the strongest
correlations, namely of narcissism with tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine/heroin; of
psychopathy with alcohol, cannabis, and unprotected sex; and of Machiavellianism with
alcohol. The correlations of narcissism and Machiavellianism with delinquency were stronger in
boys, while the correlations of psychopathy with sensation-seeking, self-esteem, and self-
control were stronger in girls. Therefore, our fifth hypothesis was also confirmed.
Finally, sex differences in delinquency were mediated by a latent Dark Triad factor,
suggesting that the psychological mechanisms behind sex differences in the former are a partial
function of individual differences in the latter. This highlights the need of different theoretical
models for males and females and potential sex-specific targeted interventions based on the
assessment of Dark Triad traits. This leads us to conclude that the last hypothesis was also
supported.
Limitations and future research
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 14
Despite the use of data from adolescents in a non-English speaking sample and the
broad cross-section of potential correlates, our study was characterized by several limitations.
First, this convenience sample could still be described as mostly white and coming from a
democratic and industrialized country (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). Second, internal
consistency estimates mostly passed the standard (i.e., .70) threshold (Dunn et al., 2014); a few
only passed the more liberal threshold (i.e., .50) as set out for basic research (Schmitt, 1996),
but on average we had adequate internal consistency in our scales. Third, the cross-sectional
nature of the current study did not allow for an examination of the stability of the features
assessed over time (i.e., temporal stability). Fourth, additional psychometric procedures should
be done in the future (e.g., cross-validation using other samples, convergent validity with other
Dark Triad measures). Fifth, the fact that the measures used in the current study where
presented in the self-report format may be problematic in terms of shared methods variance (i.e.,
variance may be attributable to the measurement method rather than to the constructs that the
measures are assumed to represent). Despite these limitations, our findings provides support for
use of the Dirty Dozen with at-risk youths, along with its use across different samples and
cultures.
Overall, findings suggest that the Portuguese version of the Dirty Dozen provides a
good overall assessment of the Dark Triad constructs. However, further psychometric research
is needed (e.g., cross-validation, testretest reliability) to arrive at more concrete conclusions.
Nonetheless, the present study corroborates prior research (e.g., Klimstra et al., 2014),
suggesting that it is, indeed, possible to assess the Dark Triad traits among youth populations
using a concise, 12-item measure which has favorable psychometric properties and predictive
validity.
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 15
Ethical approval: “All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in
accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and
with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 16
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DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 23
Table 1
Sociodemographic variables
Boys
Girls
Age in years (SD)
Education in years (SD)
Ethnicity (%)
White
Minorities
Nationality
Portuguese
Other countries
SES (%)
Low
Middle
High
13.32 (1.41)
5.85 (.89)
74.9%
25.1%
89.5%
10.5%
91.5%
8%
.5%
13.08 (1.41)
5.68 (.97)
75%
25%
83.5%
16.5%
85.8%
13.3%
.9%
Note. SES = socioeconomic status
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 24
Table 2
Goodness of fit indexes for the different models of the Dirty Dozen
IFI
CFI
RMSEA
(90% CI)
AIC
Male
1-factor
3-factor
3-factor, 2nd order
Female
1-factor
3-factor
3-factor, 2nd order
Total sample
1-factor
3-factor
3-factor, 2nd order
.94
.98
.85
.98
.99
.95
.93
.99
.95
.94
.98
.84
.98
.99
.94
.93
.99
.95
.08 (.06-.10)
.05 (.02-.07)
.07 (.04-.09)
.06 (.04-.08)
.04 (.01-.06)
.04 (.06-.06)
.06 (.05-.07)
.04 (.02-.06)
.04 (.02-.05)
19.21
-30.01
-7.62
-16.88
-32.20
-33.29
26.73
-22.89
-22.72
Note. S-2(df) = Satorra-Bentler chi-square (degrees of freedom); IFI = Incremental Fit Index;
CFI = Comparative Fit Index; RMSEA = Root Mean Square Error of Approximation; C.I. =
confidence interval; AIC = Akaike Information Criteria
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 25
Table 3
Goodness of fit statistics for measurement invariance of the Dirty Dozen
Model
S-2(df)
ΔS-B χ2(df)
CFI(ΔCFI)
RMSEA (90%
C.I.)
Configural (no constraints)
Weak (metric) invariance
Strong (scalar) invariance
141.85 (102)
148.63 (111)
160.68 (117)
--
5.14 (9)
18.02 (15)
.99
.99 (.00)
.98 (.01)
.04 (.02-.06)
.04 (.02-.06)
.04 (.02-.06)
Note. S-2(df) = Satorra-Bentler chi-square (degrees of freedom); CFI = Comparative Fit
Index; RMSEA = Root Mean Square Error of Approximation; C.I. = confidence interval
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 26
Table 4
Pearson correlation matrixes of the Dirty Dozen
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
Male/Female
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
Total sample
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
1
.29***/.44*
.48***/.60***
1
.35***
.54***
1
.34***/.42***
1
.38***
1
1
Note. No values were statistically significant in the sexes
*** p < .001
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 27
Table 5
Internal consistency of the Dirty Dozen
α
ω
MIIC
CITCR
Male/Female
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
Total sample
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
.60/.56
.59/.47
.74/.75
.58
.54
.74
.74/.76
.76/.68
.84/.84
.73
.70
.84
.27/.23
.27/.18
.41/.43
.25
.23
.42
.26.50/.14-.50
.32.44/.24-.32
.41-.67/.41-.66
.21-.49
.29-.36
.41-.64
Note. α = Cronbach´s alpha; ω = Omega coefficient; MIIC = Mean inter-item correlation;
CITCR = Corrected item-total correlation range
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 28
Table 6
Convergent and discriminant validity of the Dirty Dozen
SRD
AHSRD
BSSS
RSES
BSCS
Male/Female
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
Total sample
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
.49***/.29***
.27***/.22**
.44***/.14
.34*** (.16**)
.30*** (.16**)
.33*** (.15**)
.46***/.33***
.26***/.17*
.41***/.05
.33*** (.17**)
.30*** (.16**)
.32*** (.14*)
.41***/.53***
.32***/.51***
.52***/.42***
.47*** (.22***)
.40*** (.21***)
.52*** (.31***)
.04/-.05
.04/-.26***
-.02/.05
.01 (.02)
-.13* (-.15**)
.03 (.07)
-.16*/-.19**
.04/-.18*
.08/-.06
-.16** (-.17**)
-.05 (-.01)
-.02 (.08)
Note. SRD = Self-Report Delinquency; AHSRD = Add Health Self-Report Delinquency; BSSS
= Brief Sensation Seeking Scale; RSES = Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale; BSCS = Brief Self-
Control Scale
Bolded values were statistically significant in the sexes
Partial correlations controlling for the remaining dimensions of the Dirty Dozen among the total
sample are given in parentheses
* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 29
Table 7
Criterion-related validity of the Dirty Dozen
Tobacco
Alcohol
Cannabis
Cocaine/Heroin
Risky sex
Male/Female
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
Total sample
Machiavellianism
Psychopathy
Narcissism
.23**/.22**
.13/-.02
.35***/.01
.16** (.07)
.06 (.03)
.19*** (.14**)
.41***/.22**
.22**/-.06
.30***/-.01
.27*** (.21***)
.11* (.01)
.18*** (.04)
.20**/.04
.20**/-.08
.39***/.09
.14** (.04)
.13** (.03)
.30*** (.26***)
.26***/.12
.20**/.06
.36***/.13
.18*** (.03)
.16** (.06)
.27*** (.19***)
.12/.30***
.28***/.02
.20**/.15*
.22*** (.09)
.24*** (.16**)
.22*** (.08)
Note.
Bolded values were statistically significant in the sexes
Partial correlations controlling for the remaining dimensions of the Dirty Dozen among the total
sample are given in parentheses
* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 30
Figure 1. Three-factor structure with standardized item loadings for the total sample.
DARK TRIAD AMONG AT-RISK YOUTHS 31
Appendix: Portuguese translation of the Dirty Dozen
Items
1. Tenho tendência a levar as outras pessoas a fazerem o que eu quero.
(I tend to manipulate others to get my way)
2. Já enganei ou menti para obter o que eu queria.
(I have used deceit or lied to get my way)
3. Já elogiei (engraxei) pessoas para obter o que eu queria.
(I have used attery to get my way)
4. Tenho tendência a usar as outras pessoas em meu benefício pessoal.
(I tend to exploit others towards my own end)
5. Tenho tendência a não sentir remorsos ou arrependimento.
(I tend to lack remorse)
6. Tenho tendência a não me preocupar com o que é certo ou errado.
(I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions)
7. Tenho tendência a ser uma pessoa insensível ou fria.
(I tend to be callous or insensitive)
8. Tenho tendência a não me importar com as regras e normas sociais.
(I tend to be cynical)
9. Tenho tendência a querer que as outras pessoas sintam admiração por mim.
(I tend to want others to admire me)
10. Tenho tendência a querer que as outras pessoas me prestem atenção.
(I tend to want others to pay attention to me)
11. Tenho tendência a querer ter prestígio ou estatuto social alto.
(I tend to seek prestige or status)
12. Tenho tendência a esperar que os outros me façam favores especiais.
(I tend to expect special favors from others)
Note. Items 1-4 assess Machiavellianism; Items 5-8 assess psychopathy; Items 9-12 assess
narcissism
... can be used to provide reliable assessments of gender differences in Dark Triad traits (Chiorri et al., 2019;Pechorro et al., 2019). The validity and measurement invariance across gender of the Dutchlanguage Dirty Dozen has been examined among a sample of Belgian Dutch-speaking adolescents (Klimstra et al., 2014). ...
... Firstly, we found good internal consistency values in terms of Cronbach's alpha for the subscales Machiavellianism and psychopathy but not for narcissism. This is consistent with previous studies using the Dirty Dozen measure (Chiorri et al., 2019;Jonason & Tost, 2010;Klimstra et al., 2014;Pechorro et al., 2019). Secondly, we expected to find measurement models, across gender, that fit the data well for a three-factor structure (Hypothesis 1). ...
... This result could be due to the use of a representative heterogeneous sample. In contrast, other studies, using more homogeneous convenience samples, found evidence for strict measurement invariance of the Dirty Dozen measure across gender in high school students (Klimstra et al., 2014), in an adult community sample (Chiorri et al., 2019), among a sample of at-risk Portuguese youths (Pechorro et al., 2019) and across cultures in eight world regions (using convenience samples of university students) (Rogoza et al., 2020). Achieving weak factorial invariance across gender allowed further comparison of covariances on the latent level. ...
Article
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The Dirty Dozen (Jonason & Webster, 2010) is a frequently used concise version of the Dark Triad to measure three socially aversive personality traits: Machiavellianism, psychopathy and, narcissism. The present study has examined measurement invariance in a sample of Belgian adults. The present study aims to assess measurement invariance of the Dutch version of the Dirty Dozen measure across gender in a large city-based representative adult sample in Belgium (N=1587). Multi-group first-order confirmatory factor analysis for categorical indicators was utilized. In addition, unique associations between Dirty Dozen traits, trait self-control and, acceptance of illegitimate norms were examined in a series of structural equation models. Results indicated that the internal consistency of the Dirty Dozen subscales was good for Machiavellianism (α=0.80) and narcissism (α=0.80), but modest for psychopathy (α=0.64). The hypothesized three correlated factors model with separate factors for Machiavellianism, psychopathy and, narcissism provided a poor fit for men and women. Invariance testing across gender showed evidence for weak invariance only, indicating that the underlying latent factors are measured the same way with the same metric in the two populations. However, we were not able to establish strong measurement invariance. Observed group differences should be interpreted with caution. Furthermore, Machiavellianism and psychopathy were strongly associated with trait self-control in both men and women. Strong correlations were found between acceptance of illegitimate norms and Dirty Dozen traits, Machiavellianism and, psychopathy, but not with narcissism.
... For example, establishing measurement invariance of the SD4 in a Portuguese sample allows for the examination of whether dark tetrad traits as measured by the SD4 are operating differently across gender. This is important since previous measurement invariance research with other measures of dark traits has not been entirely consistent (Jones and de Roos 2017;Klimstra et al. 2014;Pechorro et al. 2019Pechorro et al. , 2021Rogoza et al. 2020). ...
... In terms of the known-groups validity, the comparisons of men and women revealed that men obtained significantly higher scores on the four SD4 subscales. Our results are similar to the ones obtained by Paulhus et al. (2021) and Neumann, Jones, and Paulhus (2021), and are mostly corroborated by previous research using other dark traits measures to investigate dark traits gender differences (e.g., Klimstra et al. 2014;Pechorro et al. 2021;Pineda, Sandin, and Muris 2020;Rogoza et al. 2020). Our findings clearly suggest such differences between men and women are factual, and not caused by measurement invariance problems. ...
Article
The Dark Tetrad refers to a cluster of four socially aversive and undesirable personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. The main aim of the present study was to validate the recently developed Short Dark Tetrad (SD4) scale among a sample of young adults (N=429, M=22.11 years, SD=3.35, range=18-42) from Portugal, composed of men (n=192, M=22.14 years, SD=3.34, range=18-35) and women (n=237, M=22.08 years, SD=3.35, range=18-42). Results revealed that the expected four-factor latent structure of the SD4 obtained an adequate fit. The four factors mostly presented positive moderate significant intercorrelations, and adequate to good reliability. The four subscales showed distinctive correlates with other measures (e.g., low self-control, suppression of aggression, anxiety) and variables (e.g., delinquency acts, substance abuse). Strong cross-gender measurement invariance was demonstrated, with men scoring significantly higher than women on the Narcissism, Machiavellianism, Psychopathy, and Sadism subscales. The current findings support the use of the SD4 in Portuguese.
... Correlations between the DT dimensions have been generally positive, ranging from .26 to .70 (e.g., Jakobwitz & Egan, 2006). Although the three constructs that make up the DT can be measured separately, instruments have been proposed that integrate them on a scale, such as the case of the Short Dark Triad (SD-3; Jones & Paulhus, 2014) (27 items) and the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (DTDD; Jonason & Webster, 2010) with Portuguese validation (Pechorro, Jonason et al., 2019) (12 items). The DTDD, as a brief measure, offers more advantages for research. ...
... Higher values reflect the presence of higher levels of DT traits. In the present investigation, we used the Portuguese validation of the DD (Pechorro, Jonason et al., 2019) having been obtained in the present study an internal consistency measured by Cronbach's alpha of .86 in the Machiavellianism dimension, .94 in the narcissism dimension, .86 in the psychopathy dimension, and .93 in the total DD. ...
Article
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The Dark Triad (DT) consists of three personality traits (machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy). This is considered relevant for understanding the development of undesirable characteristics for society, frequently observed in young people and adults with antisocial and delinquent behaviours. Aversive personality traits have only recently aroused interest in researchers as a cohesive set of factors. The aim of this study was to analyse the associations of the DT (machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) with juvenile delinquency, conduct disorder (CD), and trauma. For this, a total sample of Portuguese adolescents (n=601; Mage=15.95 years, SD=1.05 years, range=13-18 years) was used, subdivided into a male forensic group, male school group, and female school group. After the elaboration of multiple linear regression models, the results indicated that the psychopathy dimension was the one with the greatest association with juvenile delinquency and CD, while the narcissism dimension was the one with the greatest association with trauma. In future studies, the associations of the DT with juvenile delinquency, CD, and trauma in Portuguese adolescents should continue to be explored in the forensic and school contexts, to further clarify these relationships and contribute to the development and implementation of prevention and intervention programs for Youth with these characteristics.
... Previous research has shown that the Dirty Dozen and its Youth variant display adequate psychometric qualities when used in samples of young people. The reliability of the Dirty Dozen is sufficient with Cronbach's alphas in the .60 to .80 range (in spite of the fact that scales are only composed of a limited set of items; Jonason & Webster, 2010), while there is also good evidence for the validity of the measure in both adults (Jonason & Webster, 2010;Maples et al., 2014) and younger persons (Muris et al., 2013;Pechorro et al., 2021). ...
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The present study investigated the relative contributions of the Dark Triad, honesty-humility, and other HEXACO traits to externalizing problems in young people. One-hundred-and-six adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years completed an online survey containing the Dirty Dozen for Youth as an index of the Dark Triad traits of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism, the HEXACO-Middle School Inventory to assess honesty-humility as well as five other basic personality factors, and the Youth Self-Report to measure symptoms of oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Results first of all showed that the Dark Triad traits were positively correlated with symptoms of ODD and CD, while the HEXACO factor of honesty-humility was negatively correlated with such symptoms. Further, both types of externalizing problems were associated with a unique set of personality correlates. More precisely, ODD symptoms were predicted by higher psychopathy and lower agreeableness and extraversion, while CD symptoms were predicted by higher psychopathy (and to some extent Machiavellianism) and lower honesty-humility, extraversion, and emotionality. It is concluded that the study of the role of temperament and personality in externalizing problems should take a broad perspective that includes malevolent and benevolent traits from various theoretical models.
... Higher scores indicate higher levels of Dark Triad traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism). The version of the DD validated in Portugal among the youth population was used with a 5-point ordinal scale [46]. The internal consistency for the current study was Narcissism α = 0.88, Psychopathy α = 0.93, Machiavellianism α = 0.86, and DD total α = 0.93. ...
Article
Dark Triad traits and self-control are considered viable causal precursors to antisocial and criminal outcomes in youth. The purpose of the present study is to concurrently compare how Dark Triad traits and self-control differ in terms of predicting self-reported juvenile delinquency, CD symptoms, proactive overt aggression, and crime seriousness. The sample consisted of 567 (M = 15.91 years, SD = 0.99 years, age range = 14–18 years) Southern European youth from Portugal. Structural-equation-modelling procedures revealed that the psychopathy factor of Dark Triad traits presented the strongest significant hypothetical causal associations with the antisocial/criminal outcomes, followed by self-control. Machiavellianism and narcissism presented the lowest causal associations. Our findings indicate that psychopathy, as operationalized in the Dark Triad, concurrently surpasses self-control and the remaining factors of the Dark Triad in terms of predicting antisocial/criminal outcomes in youth. This suggests that behavioral disinhibition, or a core incapacity to regulate one’s conduct, is central for understanding delinquency and externalizing psychopathology. Comparatively, the interpersonal component of dark personality features, such as Machiavellianism and narcissism, are secondary for understanding crime.
... Schimmenti et al. (2019) explored the connection between the dark triad and empathy and alexithymia. The Dirty Dozen has also been translated into various languages, including, Bangla (Ahmed et al., 2020), Italian (Chiorri et al., 2019), Portugese (Pechorro et al., 2021), Spanish (Pineda et al., 2020) and Turkish (Özsoy et al., 2017). A number of commentators, however, have questioned the wisdom of trying to capture these three distinctive dark personalities in just four items, demonstrating that these short scales do not correspond well with longer and established measures of the three diverse constructs (Lee et al., 2013;Maples et al., 2014;Miller et al., 2012). ...
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Abstract This paper examines the psychometric properties of the Short Dark Tetrad, presented for online administration, among a sample of 370 young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who were born in the Punjab and who had lived there since their birth. With the omission of one item from each of the four scales (Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and sadism) the clear four factor structure was recovered with cross-loadings remaining on four items. All four scales recorded acceptable or good levels of internal consistency reliability (alpha). This Shorter Dark Tetrad (SD4-MS) is commended for further use within predominantly Muslim societies. Keywords: narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, Machiavellianism, psychometric, Muslim
... It is composed of 12 items (four for each trait) measuring individual differences in Machiavellianism (e.g., "I have used deceit or lied to get my way"), psychopathy (e.g., "I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions"), and narcissism (e.g., "I tend to seek prestige or status"). We used the Portuguese 140 translation (Pechorro, Jonason et al., 2021). This Portuguese version of the DD was previously validated among a at-risk sample of youth and demonstrated adequate validity and reliability results. ...
Article
The Dark Triad composed of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism, and also self-control are consistently related to 10 antisocial and criminal externalizing outcomes. In the present study, we examined whether self-control mediates the relationships between the Dark Triad and delinquency, conduct disorder, and crime seriousness outcomes. The sample consisted of 567 adolescents (M = 15.91 years, SD = 0.99 years, range = 14-15 18 years) from Portugal. Self-control mediated the association between psychopathy and Machiavellianism (but not narcissism) and self-reported juvenile delinquency, conduct disorder symptoms, and crime seriousness. One reason antisocial/criminal behaviors are common in those characterized by psycho-20 pathy and Machiavellianism relates to their deficits in self-control as suggested by general theories. Within the nomological network of dark traits, narcissism appears to have enduring and unmediated associations with externalizing features and conduct problems. Our findings add to the literature modeling 25 the Dark Triad along with self-control to elucidate its contributions to antisocial/criminal outcomes in youth.
... Higher scores on the psychopathy factor indicate higher levels of psychopathic features. The version of the DD is validated in Portugal among the youth population (Pechorro, Jonason, Raposo, & Maroco, 2019) and the internal consistency for the current study was excellent (Cronbach's α = 0.94). ...
Article
The aim of the present study is to examine the possible role of psychopathic traits as a moderator of the aggression-antisociality/delinquency link. Our sample was composed of 567 youth (M = 15.91 years, SD = 0.99 years, age range = 14-18 years) from Portugal. Results indicated that psychopathic features significantly moderate four different forms and functions of aggression-proactive overt, proactive relational, reactive overt, and reactive relational-when predicting delinquency. However, psychopathic traits only significantly moderate proactive relational aggression when predicting Conduct Disorder. Psychopathic traits and aggression constitute antisocial alchemy for antisocial behavior but more research is needed about moderation effects therein particularly among clinical and justice system involved samples of youth to inform behavioral interventions.
... An elevated prevalence of these dark traits is reflected in higher scores. The DD Portuguese version for adolescents was employed in the current study [29]. The reliability for this study was: Narcissism = 0.86, Machiavellianism = 0.86, Psychopathy = 0.94, and DD total = 0.93. ...
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The UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale is one of the most commonly used and easily administered self-report measures of impulsive traits. The main objective of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the shorter SUPPS-P scale among a school sample of 470 youth (Mage = 15.89 years, SD = 1.00) from Portugal, subdivided into males (n = 257, Mage = 15.97 years, SD = .98) and females (n = 213, Mage = 15.79 years, SD = 1.03). Confirmatory factor analysis results revealed that the latent five-factor structure (i.e., Negative urgency, Lack of perseverance, Lack of premeditation, Sensation seeking, and Positive urgency) obtained adequate fit and strong measurement invariance demonstrated across sex. The SUPPS-P scale also demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties in terms of internal consistency, discriminant and convergent (e.g., with measures of youth delinquency, aggression) validities, criterion-related validity (e.g., with crime seriousness), and known-groups validity (e.g., males versus females). Findings support the use of the SUPPS-P scale in youth. Given the importance of adolescence as a critical period characterized by increases in impulsive behaviors, having a short, valid, reliable, and easily administered assessment of impulsive tendencies is important and clinically impactful.
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Overlap between self-control and dark triad traits (i.e., psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism) is potentially problematic for efforts to distinguish dimensions associated with elevated risk for antisociality and crime. The aim of the present study is to examine the potential overlap between self-control and psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism, with a focus on the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) and the Dirty Dozen Dark Triad scale (DD). The sample consisted of 567 youth (M = 15.91 years, SD = .99 years, age range = 14-18 years) from Portugal. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis results from the pooled set of items of the BSCS and the DD measures revealed that both are valid and reliable measures of their respective constructs. However, consistent with previous research, the narcissism facet of the DD emerged as an independent factor. Our findings suggest that if such an eventual overlap is detected, it would be a question of problematic measures, not constructs.
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The Dark Triad refers to three malevolent personality traits, namely narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. The Dirty Dozen (DD) and Short Dark Triad (SD3) have been developed as concise scales for measuring these traits. This study examined the psychometrics properties of the Spanish version of the DD and SD3 in a non-clinical population recruited via the internet (N = 454). For both scales, we found (1) an adequate fit for the hypothesized factor structure with three separate but correlated malevolent traits; (2) mostly moderate to good reliability coefficients; (3) significant gender differences with males scoring higher on Dark Triad traits than females; (4) theoretically meaningful links with Eysenck’s personality supertraits; (5) positive correlations with externalizing and – albeit to a lesser extent –internalizing psychiatric symptoms; and (6) that most Dark Triad traits were positively associated with a socially desirable response tendency. It can be concluded that the Spanish DD and SD3 display highly similar psychometric qualities as the original scales and other translations of these measures.
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This research was designed to adapt and investigate the psychometric properties of the Short Dark Triad measure (Jones & Paulhus, 2014) in a German sample within four studies (total N = 1463); the measure evaluates three personality dimensions: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. The structure of the instrument was analysed by Confirmatory Factor Analyses procedure. It indicated that the three-factor structure had the best fit to the data. Next, the Short Dark Triad measure was evaluated in terms of construct, convergent and discriminant validity, internal consistency (≥ .72), and test-retest reliability during a 4-week period (≥ .73). Concurrent validity of the SD3 was supported by relating its subscales to measures of the Big Five concept, aggression, and self-esteem. We concluded that the Short Dark Triad instrument presented high cross-language replicability. The use of this short inventory in the investigation of the Dark Triad personality model in the German language context is suggested.
Article
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This research was designed to adapt and investigate the psychometric properties of the Short Dark Triad measure (Jones and Paulhus Assessment, 21(1), 28-41, 2014) in a German sample within four studies (total N = 1463); the measure evaluates three personality dimensions: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. The structure of the instrument was analysed by Confirmatory Factor Analyses procedure. It indicated that the three-factor structure had the best fit to the data. Next, the Short Dark Triad measure was evaluated in terms of construct, convergent and discriminant validity, internal consistency (≥ .72), and test-retest reliability during a 4-week period (≥ .73). Concurrent validity of the SD3 was supported by relating its subscales to measures of the Big Five concept, aggression, and self-esteem. We concluded that the Short Dark Triad instrument presented high cross-language replicability. The use of this short inventory in the investigation of the Dark Triad personality model in the German language context is suggested.
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The Dark Triad is a constellation of three socially undesirable personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Previous research has shown that men tend to score higher than women on Dark Triad scales, but the validity of these results is questionable as there is no evidence that the scales used exhibit measurement invariance across sex in the adult population. Here, we report four studies assessing the measurement invariance across sex of a recently developed, concise measure of the Dark Triad, namely Jonason and Webster's (2010) Dirty Dozen (DD). As no validated Italian version of the DD was available, we developed an Italian version and assessed its psychometric properties. Studies 1 to 3 revealed that the Italian DD had adequate psychometric properties, and replicated the three-factor structure and the nomological network of the original version. Study 4 provided evidence of the measurement invariance of the DD across sex, such that men scored higher than women with respect to psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and, to a lesser extent, narcissism. These findings indicate that the DD can be used to provide reliable assessments of sex differences in Dark Triad traits. Furthermore, the results of sex comparisons are consistent with a biosocial approach to social role theory that assumes that being agentic rather than communal is considered desirable for men and undesirable for women.
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Juvenile delinquency is a universal problem, with serious personal, economic, and social consequences that span national boundaries. Thus, cross-culturally valid and reliable measures of delinquency are critical to providing a better understanding of the causes, correlates, and outcomes of delinquency. The main aim of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of a Portuguese version of the self-report delinquency measure items created for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). A sample (N = 412) of male (n = 200) and female (n = 212) at-risk for delinquency youths agreed to participate in the present study. The measure demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties, namely in terms of its two-factor structure (violent and non-violent delinquency), internal consistency, convergent validity, discriminant validity, criterion-related validity, and known-groups validity. Findings suggest the Add Health Self-Report Delinquency (AHSRD) is an interculturally valid and reliable measure of violent and non-violent delinquency among at-risk male and female youths.
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This study explores the role of substance use expectancies as mediators between the Dark Triad of personality, substance use, and substance use preferences. A sample of college students (M = 19.38, SD = 2.63, N = 207) completed an online questionnaire that assessed the Dark Triad traits, substance use history, substance preferences, and substance use expectancies. Three specific substance use expectancies—increased confidence, tension reduction, and cognitive enhancement—were shown to either partially or fully mediate the relationships between the Dark Triad and substance use behaviors and preference for certain substances of abuse. These findings may hold clinical implications for the treatment of substance use disorders and further the understanding of factors contributing to the etiology and progression of substance abuse and substance use disorders.
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Self-report delinquency scales have formed the basis of much understanding of juvenile delinquency today, but further improvement and extensive measurement research on self-report measures of crime are needed. The present study examined the psychometric properties of the shorter general delinquency scale version of the classic commonly used Self-Report of Delinquency (SRD) measure created for the original National Youth Survey (NYS) using a sample (N = 412) of male (n = 200) and female (n = 212) at-risk Portuguese youths. The shorter version of the SRD demonstrated satisfactory validity and reliability, namely in terms of its latent one-factor structure, internal consistency, convergent validity, divergent validity, concurrent criterion validity and discriminant groups validity that overall justifies its use among this population. The shorter general delinquency scale version of the SRD is a valid and reliable measure from a modern psychometric perspective that can be used with at-risk youths.
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Sensation seeking is a robust predictor of a wide array of conduct problems that include juvenile delinquency and antisocial behaviors during adolescence and young adulthood. The primary aim of the present study was to adapt the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS) for use in research on at-risk for delinquency youths. With a sample 412 male and female participants (M = 13.19 years, SD = 1.41) from Portugal, confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the one-factor latent structure of the scale obtained a good fit, and measurement invariance across gender was demonstrated. The BSSS showed mostly good psychometric properties, namely in terms of internal consistency (Cronbach alpha and Omega coefficient), convergent validity (with delinquent behaviors and dark triad traits of personality), discriminant validity (with self-esteem and self-control), and criterion-related validity (with health-risk behaviors such as drug use, unprotected sex) that overall justifies its use among the adolescent at-risk for delinquency population.
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The Dark Triad is a term used to describe a constellation of undesirable personality traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) that have received considerable empirical attention during the past decade. The Dark Triad Dirty Dozen (DTDD) is a concise instrument developed to assess these traits which has shown good psychometric properties. The aim of this study (N = 394) was to translate and validate a French-Canadian adaptation of the Dirty Dozen (DTDD-FC). The DTDD-FC presented (1) good internal consistency and item properties; (2) a bifactor structure (i.e. items loading on each of their respective trait factor as well as with a global factor); (3) conclusive associations with nomological network surrounding each trait (i.e., convergent and discriminant validity coefficients) and social desirability; and (4) sex differences for psychopathy. Overall, the French-Canadian adaptation of the Dirty Dozen seems to be a valid and psychometrically sound measure of the Dark Triad traits, and is comparable to the original English version.