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      Psychopathic Personality Works Better than CU Traits for Predicting Fearlessness and ADHD Symptoms among Children with Conduct Problems

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          Abstract

          Children with early-onset conduct problems (CP) are at great risk for future behavior problems, and this risk seems to increase when CP co-occur with psychopathic traits. Even though studies are indicating that the entire psychopathic personality construct may be more useful in designating a meaningful subgroup of children with CP, research on psychopathic traits and CP in childhood have mainly focused on the role of callous unemotional (CU) traits. Prospective longitudinal data of 1867 3- to 5-year-olds (47% girls) followed annually for two years was used to compare groups of children with different combinations of CP and psychopathic traits on fearlessness and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Children with CP and psychopathic personality had higher baseline and stable levels of ADHD symptoms than children with CP only or children with CP and concurrent CU traits, while baseline levels of fearlessness did not differ. They were also more likely to display stable levels of the risky combination of CP and ADHD symptoms. Results were similar for boys and girls. Findings indicate that there are reasons to consider other traits and behaviors as specifiers for subgroups of children with CP over and above CU traits, in order to optimize both diagnostic practice and treatment outcomes.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Refining the construct of psychopathy: towards a hierarchical model.

          Psychopathy is characterized by diverse indicators. Clinical accounts have emphasized 3 distinct facets: interpersonal, affective, and behavioral. Research using the Psychopathy Checklist--Revised (PCL-R), however, has emphasized a 2-factor model. A review of the literature on the PCL-R and related measures of psychopathy, together with confirmatory factor analysis of PCL-R data from North American participants, indicates that the 2-factor model cannot be sustained. A 3-factor hierarchical model was developed in which a coherent superordinate factor, Psychopathy, is underpinned by 3 factors: Arrogant and Deceitful Interpersonal Style, Deficient Affective Experience, and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioral Style. The model was cross-validated on North American and Scottish PCL-R data, Psychopathy Screening Version data, and data derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) antisocial personality disorder field trial.
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            Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a selective overview.

            Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a multifactorial and clinically heterogeneous disorder that is associated with tremendous financial burden, stress to families, and adverse academic and vocational outcomes. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is highly prevalent in children worldwide, and the prevalence of this disorder in adults is increasingly recognized. Studies of adults with a diagnosis of childhood-onset ADHD indicate that clinical correlates--demographic, psychosocial, psychiatric, and cognitive features--mirror findings among children with ADHD. Predictors of persistence of ADHD include family history of the disorder, psychiatric comorbidity, and psychosocial adversity. Family studies of ADHD have consistently supported its strong familial nature. Psychiatric disorders comorbid with childhood ADHD include oppositional defiant and conduct disorders, whereas mood and anxiety disorders are comorbid with ADHD in both children and adults. Pregnancy and delivery complications, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and adverse family environment variables are considered important risk factors for ADHD. The etiology of ADHD has not been clearly identified, although evidence supports neurobiologic and genetic origins. Structural and functional imaging studies suggest that dysfunction in the fronto-subcortical pathways, as well as imbalances in the dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems, contribute to the pathophysiology of ADHD. Medication with dopaminergic and noradrenergic activity seems to reduce ADHD symptoms by blocking dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake. Such alterations in dopaminergic and noradrenergic function are apparently necessary for the clinical efficacy of pharmacologic treatments of ADHD.
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              Childhood predictors differentiate life-course persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways among males and females

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                +46(0)19 303160 , louise.frogner@oru.se
                Journal
                J Psychopathol Behav Assess
                J Psychopathol Behav Assess
                Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
                Springer US (New York )
                0882-2689
                9 March 2018
                9 March 2018
                2018
                : 40
                : 1
                : 26-39
                Affiliations
                ISNI 0000 0001 0738 8966, GRID grid.15895.30, Center for Criminological and Psychosocial Research (CAPS), School of Law, Pscyhology and Social Work, , Örebro University, ; SE-70182 Örebro, Sweden
                Article
                9651
                10.1007/s10862-018-9651-0
                5860098
                2dc52bb4-dc34-47fe-8939-7f58ef9b08b8
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funding
                Funded by: Örebro University
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                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

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