Continuity and change in psychopathic traits among school-aged children with conduct problems
*Bégin V, Déry M, Le Corff Y. (2019). Continuity and Change in Psychopathic Traits among School-Aged Children with Conduct Problems. Child Psychiatry and Human Development. 50(4): 580-590.
The three dimensions of psychopathic traits in childhood have been consistently associated with high levels of conduct problems among children. However, little is known about the continuity and change in psychopathic traits among children with conduct problems. This study aimed to examine the homotypic continuity and change of the three dimensions of psychopathic traits from 8 to 14 years old among 370 children (40.3% girls) who were identified at school as having conduct problems at study inception. Results supported the structural continuity of the tridimensional model of psychopathic traits and revealed that the callous-unemotional dimension is more stable than the two other dimensions. However, the levels of the three dimensions of psychopathic traits remained high over time among a substantial number of children with conduct problems. This study has implications regarding the longitudinal assessment of psychopathic traits within this specific population.