Research Review: The importance of callous-unemotional traits for developmental models of aggressive and antisocial behavior

Paul J. Frick, Stuart F. White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

736 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current paper reviews research suggesting that the presence of a callous and unemotional interpersonal style designates an important subgroup of antisocial and aggressive youth. Specifically, callous-unemotional (CU) traits (e.g., lack of guilt, absence of empathy, callous use of others) seem to be relatively stable across childhood and adolescence and they designate a group of youth with a particularly severe, aggressive, and stable pattern of antisocial behavior. Further, antisocial youth with CU traits show a number of distinct emotional, cognitive, and personality characteristics compared to other antisocial youth. These characteristics of youth with CU traits have important implications for causal models of antisocial and aggressive behavior, for methods used to study antisocial youth, and for assessing and treating antisocial and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-375
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Callous-unemotional traits
  • Children and adolescents
  • Conduct problems
  • Psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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