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In Search of Conceptual Clarity About the Structure of Psychopathic Traits in Children: A Network-Based Proposal
Departamento de Psicología Clínica y Psicobiología, Facultad de Psicología, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Rua Xose María Suárez Núñez S/N, Campus Sur, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Örebro University, School of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8163-6558
Departamento de Psicología Clínica y Psicobiología, Facultad de Psicología, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Rua Xose María Suárez Núñez S/N, Campus Sur, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
2024 (English)In: Child Psychiatry and Human Development, ISSN 0009-398X, E-ISSN 1573-3327Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Psychopathic traits in childhood have been revealed as potential identifiers of risk, being predictive of later forms of behavioral maladjustment. Yet, it is still under debate how psychopathic traits in children should be best conceptualized and which are the core dimensions for construct definition and prediction. The present study aims to examine the structure of psychopathic traits in childhood, and its predictive value, by using a combination of traditional factor analysis and more recent network-based methods. Data on psychopathic traits, as measured by the Child Problematic Traits Inventory (CPTI), were collected in a large sample of children (n = 2454; 48.2% girls), aged 3 to 6 at the onset of the study (Mage = 4.26; SD = 0.91), who were followed-up one and two years later using parent- and teacher-reports. Results showed that psychopathic traits measured via CPTI are best conceptualized as five latent factors encompassing grandiosity, deceitfulness, callousness, impulsivity and need of stimulation, a result that converged across informants and time. Callousness and grandiosity emerged as central traits using network analysis of parent-reports, while deceitfulness was most central using teacher-reports. Finally, callousness, impulsivity and deceitfulness emerged as the best predictors of concurrent, prospective and stable conduct problems. These results provide a refined structure of psychopathic traits in children that better accounts for the core elements of the construct. Additional theoretical and practical implications will be discussed in terms of assessment, diagnostic classification and tailored prevention/intervention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024.
Keywords [en]
Children, Conduct problems, Network structure, Prediction, Psychopathic traits
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-111026DOI: 10.1007/s10578-023-01649-zISI: 001143932600001PubMedID: 38236454Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85182241679OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-111026DiVA, id: diva2:1832709
Note

Open Access funding provided thanks to the CRUE-CSIC agreement with Springer Nature. This study is part of the I + D + i Project PID2019-107897RB-I00/ funded by MCIN/AEI/https://doi.org/10.13039/501100011033, and it was supported by TED2021-130824B-C22, funded by MCIN/AEI/https://doi.org/10.13039/501100011033 and the European Union (EU) “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR. L. López-Romero’s contribution was supported by the grant RYC2021-032890-I, funded by MCIN/AEI/https://doi.org/10.13039/501100011033 and the European Union “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR.

Available from: 2024-01-30 Created: 2024-01-30 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Andershed, Henrik

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