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17-03-2020 | Uitgave 6/2020

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2020

Associations Between Callous-Unemotional Traits and Peer-Rated Social-Behavioral Outcomes in Elementary and Middle School

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 6/2020
Nicholas J. Wagner, Julie C. Bowker, Kenneth H. Rubin
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There is strong evidence that peers are of central importance to children’s and adolescents’ social and emotional adaptation and success in school. However, it remains an open question as to whether callous-unemotional (CU) traits, or interpersonal and affective deficits that pose risk for antisocial behaviors and psychopathy, are related to social-behavioral outcomes as assessed by those who are believed to have the most accurate perspectives on such outcomes – young adolescents’ peers. Using data from a longitudinal and multi-method study of peer relations (N = 379, % female = 51.90, Mage = 10.24 at Time 1), the current study addressed this gap by examining the links between teacher-reports of CU traits and conduct problems (CP) and peer-reports of the extent to which young adolescents are aggressive, victimized, excluded, prosocial, and sociable during the Fall and Spring semesters in Grade 5 (Times 1and 2) and Grade 6 (Times 3 and 4). Results revealed that teacher-rated CP, but not CU traits, was associated positively with peer-reports of aggression. CU traits, but not CP, was associated positively with victimization/exclusion and associated negatively with prosociality. CU traits and CP demonstrated opposite relations with sociability, with CU traits demonstrating a negative association. Findings are discussed in the context of the broader literature examining the social-behavioral correlates of CU traits.

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