Unfortunately, very little research has examined the link between antisocial personality traits in childhood and adult psychopathy. This study used data from a clinic-referred sample of 177 boys, assessed annually from recruitment (ages 7 to 12) through age 19. Parent and teacher ratings of interpersonal callousness (IC) were tested at predictors of psychopathy ratings at 18 and 19. In regression models, conduct disorder (CD) and teacher-rated IC both predicted both Factor 1 (interpersonal and affective items) and Factor 2 (impulsivity and antisocial behavior items) of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, as did child IQ. Prenatal tobacco exposure and cortisol measured in adolescence predicted only Factor 1. When each factor was included in the prediction of the other, CD and IC no longer predicted Factor 1 but remained significant predictors of Factor 2.
"These features were previously included in the concept of Callous Unemotional (CU) traits (Frick et al., 2003; Frick and White, 2008), and are also considered core elements in the clinical descriptions of adult psychopathy (Blair et al., 2006b). An additional feature of the CU traits is their stability from childhood to adolescence (Burke et al., 2007) and adulthood (Lynam et al., 2007). Previous research has Contents lists available at ScienceDirect journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/psychres "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deficits in emotional reactivity are frequently reported in Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBDs). A deficit in prosocial emotions, namely the callous unemotional traits (CU), may be a mediator of emotional reactivity. Our aim is to investigate subjective emotional reactivity towards visual stimuli with different affective valence in youths with DBDs and healthy controls. The clinical sample included 62 youths with DBDs (51 males, 8 to 16 years, mean 11.3±2.1 years), the control group 53 subjects (36 males, 8 to 16 years, mean 10.8±1.5 years). The groups were compared using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU), and the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), which explores the affective (pleasant/unpleasant emotional reaction) and arousal (low/high intensity of emotion) dimensions. The DBD group presented higher scores in externalizing and internalizing CBCL scores, and in ICU callous and indifferent subscales. At the IAPS, DBD patients differed from controls in the affective valence of the images, rating less unpleasant neutral and negative images. The CU traits were the only predictor of emotional reactivity in the DBD sample. A less aversive way to interpret neutral and negative stimuli may explain why DBD patients are less responsive to negative reinforcements.
Psychiatry Research 07/2014; 220(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.035 · 2.47 Impact Factor
"Two studies summarized in Table 1 provide information on the stability of traits over somewhat longer periods from childhood into early adulthood. First, Burke et al. (2007) reported that both parent-and teacher-rated CU traits assessed at ages 7–12 in a sample of clinic-referred boys (n = 177) were significantly associated with clinician-rated CU traits at ages 18 and 19. Second, Lynam, Caspi, Moffitt, Loeber, and Stouthamer-Loeber (2007) reported that self-report of psychopathic traits, which included CU traits, at age 13 (n = 250) was significantly associated , r = .31 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent research has suggested that the presence of significant levels of callous-unemotional (CU) traits designates a clinically important and etiologically distinct subgroup of children and adolescents with serious conduct problems. Based on this research, CU traits have been included in the most recent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - 5th Edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) - as a specifier for the diagnosis of conduct disorder. In this review, we attempt to understand CU traits within a developmental psychopathological framework. Specifically, we summarize research on the normal development of the prosocial emotions of empathy and guilt (i.e., conscience) and we illustrate how the development of CU traits can be viewed as the normal development of conscience gone awry. Furthermore, we review research on the stability of CU traits across different developmental periods and highlight factors that can influence this stability. Finally, we highlight the implications of this developmental psychopathological framework for future etiological research, for assessment and diagnostic classification, and for treatment of children with serious conduct problems.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10/2013; 55(6). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12152 · 6.46 Impact Factor
"Of juveniles with diagnosable CD, more than three-fifths have severe problems: 29% have pervasive CD with an average of eight symptoms including aggression; a further 29% have on average six symptoms, including theft and other property-oriented offences but not violence; and 3% appear to be primarily aggressive . There is also a pessimistic trajectory from CD in youth to antisocial personality disorder in adulthood [18-21], with young people with the most severe symptoms most likely to progress to antisocial personality disorder . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need for clinically effective and cost-effective methods to manage antisocial and criminal behaviour in adolescents. Youth conduct disorder is increasingly prevalent in the UK and is associated with a range of negative outcomes. Quantitative systematic reviews carried out for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have identified multisystemic therapy, an intensive, multimodal, home-based, family intervention for youth with serious antisocial behaviour, as one of the most promising interventions for reducing antisocial or offending behaviour and improving individual and family functioning. Previous international trials of multisystemic therapy have yielded mixed outcomes, and it is questionable to what extent positive US findings can be generalised to a wider UK mental health and juvenile justice context. This paper describes the protocol for the Systemic Therapy for At Risk Teens (START) trial, a multicentre UK-wide randomised controlled trial of multisystemic therapy in antisocial adolescents at high risk of out-of-home placement.Methods/designThe trial is being conducted at 10 sites across the UK. Seven hundred participants and their families will be recruited and randomised on a 1:1 basis to multisystemic therapy or management as usual. Treatments are offered over a period of 3 to 5 months, with follow-up to 18 months post-randomisation. The primary outcome is out-of-home placement at 18 months. Secondary outcomes include offending rates, total service and criminal justice sector costs, and participant well-being and educational outcomes. Data will be gathered from police computer records, the National Pupil Database, and interview and self-report measures administered to adolescents, parents and teachers. Outcomes will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis, using a logistic regression with random effects for the primary outcome and Cox regressions and linear mixed-effects models for secondary outcomes depending on whether the outcome is time-to-event or continuous.
The START trial is a pragmatic national trial of sufficient size to evaluate multisystemic therapy, to inform policymakers, service commissioners, professionals, service users and their families about its potential in the UK. It will also provide data on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of usual services provided to youth with serious antisocial behaviour problems.Trial registrationISRCTN77132214.
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