Temporal discounting and conduct disorder in adolescents

Stuart F. White, Roberta Clanton, Sarah J. Brislin, Harma Meffert, Soonjo Hwang, Stephen Sinclair, R. James R. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The current study examined temporal discounting (the decrease in subjective reward value as a function of increasing delay) in youths with conduct disorder (CD) and the extent to which this was modulated by level of psychopathic traits. In the temporal discounting task, participants were asked to choose between immediate rewards of varying values and a larger reward, held at a constant value ($10), whose receipt was delayed by different time intervals across trials (e.g., 7 days, 360 days). The level of immediate reward necessary for selection over the larger, delayed reward is the measure of temporal discounting. Forty-six youths (21 with CD and 25 healthy youths) participated in this study. Compared with healthy youths, youths with CD chose significantly smaller amounts of immediate reward rather than the larger future rewards. This was the case even in youths with CD without comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. However, level of psychopathic traits did not modulate temporal discounting in this sample. These results are discussed in terms of neurobiological models of CD and psychopathic traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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