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: 3.48). 09/2005; 33(4):471-87. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-005-5728-9
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "The CU subscale consists of 6-items (e.g., BI feel bad or guilty when I do something wrong^ and BI am concerned about the feelings of others^) which are scored as 0 (not at all true), 1 (sometimes true), or 2 (definitely true). Scores from the CU subscale of the APSD have demonstrated significant stability over a 3-year period (Muñoz and Frick 2007) and scores from this subscale have been associated with more severe and stable conduct problems and with measures of reduced emotional reactivity (Frick et al. 2005; Kimonis et al. 2006). "
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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.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10802-015-9994-x · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "Aunque no existe consenso sobre la conveniencia de emplear el término psicópata para referirse a adolescentes, motivado fundamentalmente por razones éticas, metodológicas y de desarrollo (Marsee, Silverthorn & Frick, 2005), la relación entre rasgos psicopáticos y problemas de conducta es robusta (Andershed, Gustafson, Kerr & Stattin, 2002; Declercq, Markey, Vandist & Verhaeghe, 2009; Frick, Stickle, Dandreaux , Farrel & Kimonis, 2005; Lynam, Miller, Vachon , Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 2009; Marsee et al., 2005; McMahon, Witkiewitz & Kotler, 2010). A diferencia del trastorno disocial, la psicopatía no pivota únicamente en torno al comportamiento, sino a dimensiones, entre las que sobresalen el narcisismo , insensibilidad emocional e impulsividad, que se toman como predictores de los problemas de conducta (Frick et al., 2005). Sin embargo, desde un punto de vista de la justicia penal, solo los actos delictivos son objeto de intervención, entendiendo por estos aquellos cuya acción constituya un delito con arreglo a la legislación nacional o al derecho internacional. "
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    ABSTRACT: El estudio de la relación de los problemas de conducta con la competencia cognitiva y comportamental se ha convertido en un referente continuo en la literatura científica. A este respecto, los modelos de cascada/escalada en el desarrollo prevén que el nivel de problemas de conducta esté asociado al nivel de desarrollo de la competencia cognitiva y comportamental. Desde una perspectiva legal, los problemas de conducta se identifican con la delincuencia, estableciéndose niveles según la gravedad delictiva (delitos con vs. sin violencia) y del delincuente (primarios vs. reincidentes). Para comprobar si estos niveles se reflejan en la competencia cognitiva y comportamental, 283 adolescentes que estaban cumpliendo una condena judicial, 139 (68 reincidentes y 71 primarios) habían cometido un delito violento y 144 sin violencia (77 reincidentes y 67 primarios), fueron evaluados en las medidas de referencia de la competencia cognitiva y comportamental (e.g., regulación emocional, autoconcepto, atribución de la responsabilidad, resolución de problemas). Los resultados mostraron que la gravedad delictiva es independiente de la competencia cognitiva y comportamental, y que la delincuencia crónica se relaciona con menor competencia. De estos resultados se derivan consecuencias para el tratamiento de los delincuentes juveniles y para la duración de las condenas que se discuten.
    Universitas Psychologica 09/2014; 13(3):881-894. DOI:10.11144/Javeriana.UPSY13-3.emgd · 0.40 Impact Factor
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    • "Several previous studies have shown that the correlation between the interpersonal and affective (or CU) dimensions of the psychopathic personality and conduct problems tends to decrease, or even disappear when controlling for the behavioral dimension (e.g., Colledge and Blair 2004; Frick et al. 2005). This study showed that the relation between the GD factor and Conduct Problems largely disappeared when controlling for the other two CPTI factors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the development of psychopathic personality from childhood to adulthood is crucial for understanding the development and stability of severe and long-lasting conduct problems and criminal behavior. This paper describes the development of a new teacher rated instrument to assess psychopathic personality from age three to 12, the Child Problematic Traits Inventory (CPTI). The reliability and validity of the CPTI was tested in a Swedish general population sample of 2,056 3- to 5-year-olds (mean age = 3.86; SD = .86; 53 % boys). The CPTI items loaded distinctively on three theoretically proposed factors: a Grandiose-Deceitful Factor, a Callous-Unemotional factor, and an Impulsive-Need for Stimulation factor. The three CPTI factors showed reliability in internal consistency and external validity, in terms of expected correlations with theoretically relevant constructs (e.g., fearlessness). The interaction between the three CPTI factors was a stronger predictor of concurrent conduct problems than any of the three individual CPTI factors, showing that it is important to assess all three factors of the psychopathic personality construct in early childhood. In conclusion, the CPTI seems to reliably and validly assess a constellation of traits that is similar to psychopathic personality as manifested in adolescence and adulthood.
    Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 03/2014; 36(1):4-21. DOI:10.1007/s10862-013-9385-y · 1.55 Impact Factor
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