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Why should we care about measuring callous–unemotional traits in children?

  • Essi Viding (a1) and Eamon J. McCrory (a1)
Summary

Callous–unemotional traits consist of lack of empathy, guilt and shallow affect. A growing body of research suggests that the presence of these traits are of clinical significance, even if they occur in the absence of concurrent antisocial behavour.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Essi Viding, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK. Email: e.viding@ucl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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See pp. 197–201, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Frick, PJ, Viding, E. Antisocial behavior from a developmental psychopathology perspective. Dev Psychopathol 2009; 21: 1111–31.
2 Frick, PJ, Moffitt, TE. A Proposal to the DSM–V Childhood Disorders and the ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Work Groups to include a Specifier to the Diagnosis of Conduct Disorder Based on the Presence of Callous–Unemotional Traits. American Psychiatric Association, 2010 (http://www.dsm5.org/Proposed%20Revision%20Attachments/Proposal%20for%20Callous%20and%20Unemotional%20Specifier%20of%20Conduct%20Disorder.pdf).
3 Barker, ED, Oliver, BR, Viding, E, Salekin, RT, Maughan, B. The impact of prenatal maternal risk, fearless temperament and early parenting on adolescent callous–unemotional traits: a 14–year longitudinal investigation. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2011; 52: 878–88.
4 Frick, PJ, Cornell, AH, Bodin, SD, Dane, HE, Barry, CT, Loney, BR. Callous–unemotional traits and developmental pathways to severe conduct problems. Dev Psychol 2003; 39: 246–60.
5 Rowe, R, Maughan, B, Moran, P, Ford, T, Briskman, J, Goodman, R. The role of callous and unemotional traits in the diagnosis of conduct disorder. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2010; 51: 688–95.
6 Kumsta, R, Sonuga–Barke, E, Rutter, M. Adolescent callous–unemotional traits and conduct disorder in adoptees exposed to severe early deprivation. Br J Psychiatry 2012; 200: 197201.
7 Hart, SD, Hare, RD. Psychopathy: assessment and association with criminal conduct. In Handbook of Antisocial Behavior (eds Stoff, DM, Breiling, J, Maser, JD): 2235. Wiley, 1997.
8 Cleckley, H. The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify some Issues about the So–called Psychopathic Personality (5th edn). Mosby, 1976.
9 Fontaine, NM, McCrory, EJ, Boivin, M, Moffitt, TE, Viding, E. Predictors and outcomes of joint trajectories of callous–unemotional traits and conduct problems in childhood. J Abnorm Psychol 2011; 120: 730–42.
10 Larsson, H, Viding, E, Plomin, R. Callous–unemotional traits and antisocial behavior: genetic, environmental and early childhood influences. Crim Justice Behav 2008; 35: 197211.
11 Viding, E, Frick, PJ, Plomin, R. Aetiology of the relationship between callous–unemotional traits and conduct problems in childhood. Br J Psychiatry 2007; 190 (suppl 49): s338.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Why should we care about measuring callous–unemotional traits in children?

  • Essi Viding (a1) and Eamon J. McCrory (a1)
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