Featured Published Manuscript of the Month:     May 2018

 

Chosen and summarized by:                                             Emily R. Perkins

 

Fanti, K. A., Kyranides, M. N., Lordos, A., Colins, O. F., & Andershed, H. (2018). Unique and interactive associations of callous-unemotional traits, impulsivity and grandiosity with child and adolescent conduct disorder symptoms. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment [advance electronic publication].

 

Corresponding Author:  Kostas A. Fanti ([email protected]), University of Cyprus

 

 

This featured manuscript investigated the independent and interactive effects of three psychopathic personality traits — callous-unemotional (CU) traits, impulsivity, and grandiosity — on conduct disorder (CD) symptoms in youth. Two Cypriot samples were tested at baseline and one year later: children (N = 1599; Mage = 9.46; 52% female; parent-report measures) and adolescents (N = 2719; Mage = 15.96; 49% female; self-report measures), allowing for examination of cross-sectional and longitudinal effects.

 

A few key findings were:

 

·       Each dimension of psychopathy, especially grandiosity, was associated with concurrent CD symptoms; however, the combination of all three dimensions showed the largest effect.

 

·       CU traits were associated with the subsequent emergence of new CD symptomatology, but not with temporal stability of existing CD symptoms.

 

·       The combination of high grandiosity and high impulsivity was associated with temporal stability of CD over the course of a year.

 

Some key implications:

 

·       CU traits alone cannot fully account for CD variability; further research and intervention efforts should take all three traits into account.

 

·       Differences in motivational salience — self-interest (grandiosity) and inhibited prosociality (CU) — especially when combined with poor inhibitory control (impulsivity), may contribute to severe conduct-disordered behaviors.

 

·       Patterns of interactions among psychopathic traits and baseline CD symptoms imply the existence of multiple developmental pathways to CD.