Title

Stability of Psychopathic Characteristics in Childhood - The Influence of Social Relationships

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2008

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The current study is a preliminary longitudinal investigation of the stability of psychopathic characteristics, including social relationships as a moderator, within a group of aggressive children ( N = 80). Data were collected from the children, their parents, teachers, and peers. Results indicated that the psychopathic characteristics ( callous-unemotional traits, impulsive conduct problems, and narcissism) were relatively stable across three time points. Social relationship variables ( child self-report of social competence, teacher-rated social competence, and peer-rated social preference) were generally correlated with psychopathic characteristics. Self-report of social competence moderated change from Time 1 to Time 2 narcissism based on parent report. Both peer-rated social preference and teacher-rated social competence moderated change from Time 1 to Time 3 impulsive conduct problems. These results provide preliminary support that psychopathic characteristics are generally stable in aggressive children and that social relationships are a potentially valuable point of intervention when children present with these characteristics.

Publication Title

Criminal Justice and Behavior

Volume

35

Issue

2

First Page

244

Last Page

262