The relationship between large cavum septum pellucidum and antisocial behavior, callous-unemotional traits and psychopathy in adolescents

Stuart F. White, Sarah Brislin, Stephen Sinclair, Katherine A. Fowler, Kayla Pope, R. James R. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Background: The presence of a large cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) has been previously associated with antisocial behavior/psychopathic traits in an adult community sample. Aims: The current study investigated the relationship between a large CSP and symptom severity in disruptive behavior disorders (DBD; conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder). Method: Structural MRI scans of youth with DBDs (N = 32) and healthy comparison youth (N = 27) were examined for the presence of a large CSP and if this was related to symptom severity. Results: Replicating previous results, a large CSP was associated with DBD diagnosis, proactive aggression, and level of psychopathic traits in youth. However, the presence of a large CSP was unrelated to aggression or psychopathic traits within the DBD sample. Conclusions: Early brain mal-development may increase the risk of a DBD diagnosis, but does not mark a particularly severe form of DBD within patients receiving these diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-581
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2013



  • Conduct disorder
  • development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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