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01-12-2014 | Uitgave 4/2014

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 4/2014

Callous-Unemotional Traits in Individuals Receiving Accommodations in University

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 4/2014
Franklynn E. Bartol, Carlin J. Miller


Research with antisocial individuals suggests that callous-unemotional (CU) traits, a dimension of psychopathy, consistently predict severe antisocial behaviours and correlate with deficits in recognizing negative emotions, especially fearful facial expressions. However, the generalizability of these findings to non-antisocial populations remains uncertain and largely unexplored. This small, exploratory study aimed to extend this research by measuring CU traits and facial emotion recognition in university students with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, other psychiatric disorders, and comparison participants with physical/sensory disabilities. As the clinical groups can exhibit deficits in emotion recognition, this study sought to shed light on the candidacy of CU traits as a factor in emotion recognition. Results suggested that individuals in the diagnostic groups possess similar levels of CU traits to the comparison group and that the relationship between CU traits and emotion recognition deficits previously seen in antisocial populations is not present in this sample. Contrary to the hypothesis, those in the diagnostic groups displayed similar levels of accuracy on an emotion recognition task as the comparison group. Recommendations are made for future research to use more specific and representative diagnostic populations to further assess the relationships between CU traits and emotion recognition in non-antisocial populations.

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