Responsiveness to distress cues in the child withpsychopathic tendencies

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Abstract

This study investigates the psychophysiological responsiveness of children withemotional and behavioral difficulties, divided according to their Psychopathy Screening Device (PSD) scores () to distress cues, threatening and neutral stimuli. Fromthis population, 16 high PSD scoring children and 16 low scoring controls were shown slides ofthese three types of stimuli and their electrodermal responses were recorded. An additional 16normal developing children in mainstream education were also presented with these stimuli. Thehigh PSD scoring children showed, relative to the controls, reduced electrodermal responses tothe distress cues and threatening stimuli. In contrast, the two groups did not differ in theirelectrodermal responses to the neutral stimuli. The results are interpreted within the ViolenceInhibition Mechanism model () of Psychopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999

Keywords

  • Distress
  • Empathy
  • Psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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