Callous-unemotional traits in predicting the severity and stability of conduct problems and delinquency.

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, Orleans, LA 70148, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.09). 09/2005; 33(4):471-87. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-005-5728-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The current study tests whether the presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits designates a group of children with conduct problems who show an especially severe and chronic pattern of conduct problems and delinquency. Ninety-eight children who were selected from a large community screening of school children in grades 3, 4, 6 and 7 were followed across four yearly assessments. Children with conduct problems who also showed CU traits exhibited the highest rates of conduct problems, self-reported delinquency, and police contacts across the four years of the study. In fact, this group accounted for at least half of all of the police contacts reported in the sample across the last three waves of data collection. In contrast, children with conduct problems who did not show CU traits continued to show higher rates of conduct problems across the follow-up assessments compared to non-conduct problem children. However, they did not show higher rates of self-reported delinquency than non-conduct problem children. In fact, the second highest rate of self-reported delinquency in the sample was found for the group of children who were high on CU traits but without conduct problems at the start of the study.


Available from: Timothy Stickle, Jun 03, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Bullying is a prevalent problem in schools that is associated with a number of negative outcomes for both the child who bullies and his or her victims. In a community sample of 284 ethnically diverse school-children (54.2 % girls) between the ages of 9 and 14 years (M = 11.28, SD = 1.82), the current study examined whether the level of victimization moderated the association between bullying and several behavioral, social, and emotional characteristics. These characteristics were specifically chosen to integrate research on distinct developmental pathways to conduct problems with research on the characteristics shown by children who bully others. Results indicated that both bullying and victimization were independently associated with conduct problems. However, there was an interaction between bullying and victimization in the prediction of callous-unemotional (CU) traits, such that the association between bullying and CU traits was stronger for those lower on victimization. Further, bullying was positively associated with positive attitudes towards bullying and anger expression and neither of these associations were moderated by the level of victimization. In contrast, bullying was not associated with the child's perceived problems regulating anger, suggesting that children with higher levels of bullying admit to expressing anger but consider this emotional expression as being under their control.
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