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Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 7/2011

01-10-2011

Effects of a Parenting Intervention on Features of Psychopathy in Children

Auteurs: Renee McDonald, Mary Catherine Dodson, David Rosenfield, Ernest N. Jouriles

Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 7/2011

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Abstract

This study examined whether Project Support, a parenting intervention shown to reduce child conduct problems, also exerts positive effects on features of psychopathy in children. Participants were 66 families (mothers and children) recruited from domestic violence shelters who participated in a randomized controlled trial evaluating Project Support. Each family included at least one child between the ages of 4 and 9 who was exhibiting clinical levels of conduct problems. Families were randomly assigned to the Project Support intervention condition or to an existing services comparison condition, and they were assessed on 6 occasions over 20 months, following their departure from the shelter. Children in families in the Project Support condition, compared with those in the comparison condition, exhibited greater reductions in features of psychopathy. Moreover, the changes in features of psychopathy remained after accounting for changes in conduct problems. Project Support’s effects on features of psychopathy were mediated by improvements in mothers’ harsh and inconsistent parenting. These findings on the effects of an intervention on features of psychopathy are the first from a randomized controlled trial. They inform the debate about whether features of psychopathy in children are responsive to intervention, and hold important implications for clinical practice.
Voetnoten
1
Features of psychopathy are also correlated with other psychological disorders in children, such as depression and anxiety (Kubak & Salekin, 2009). However, we limited the discussion of measurement overlap to conduct problem behavior because it is the focus of the study and the sample was recruited on the basis of elevated levels of conduct problems.
 
2
The equation for the Level-1 MLM model was:
$$ {{Psychopath}}{{{y}}_{{ij}}} = {{{b}}_{{0i}}} + {{{b}}_{{1i}}}*{{Tim}}{{{e}}_{{ij}}} + {{{b}}_{{2ij}}}*{{F}}{{{U}}_{{ij}}} + {{{b}}_{{3i}}}*{{Tim}}{{{e}}_{{ij}}}*{{F}}{{{U}}_{{ij}}} + {{{\varepsilon }}_{{ij}}} $$
where:
Timeij = assessment number (0–5) for individual i at assessment j
FUij = 0 for the intervention period, 1 for the follow-up period.
There were identical level-2 equations for each level-1 regression coefficient (each b). To illustrate, the level 2 equation for b1i was:
$$ {{{b}}_{{1i}}} = {{{\gamma }}_{{10}}} + {{{\gamma }}_{{11}}}*{{Conditio}}{{{n}}_{{i}}} + {{{\gamma }}_{{12}}}{{*InitialP}}{{{S}}_{{i}}} + {{{\mu }}_{{1i}}} $$
where:
Conditioni = 0 for Project Support, 1 for the comparison condition.
With this coding, b1i is the slope of psychopathy scores during the intervention period for the Project Support condition; b2i allows different intercepts for the intervention and follow-up periods; and b3i is the difference between the slope of psychopathy scores during the intervention period versus the follow-up period. The slopes for those in the comparison condition are obtained by recoding the condition variable so that 0 = comparison condition and 1 = Project Support.
The Time × FU × Condition (γ31) term in the composite model (in which the level-2 equations are substituted into the level-1 equation) was not statistically significant (p = 0.95), and thus was dropped from the model. All 2-way interactions were retained.
 
3
In initial analyses, we also included demographic variables (child age and gender, mother’s education, family income) as level-2 predictors of all the level-1 slopes and intercepts. None of these demographic characteristics was related to the intercepts or slopes so they were dropped from further analyses.
 
4
A modification of the APSD has been developed for very young children (i.e., pre-kindergarten and kindergarten ages). However, that instrument had not been developed at the time the data were collected for the current study.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Effects of a Parenting Intervention on Features of Psychopathy in Children
Auteurs
Renee McDonald
Mary Catherine Dodson
David Rosenfield
Ernest N. Jouriles
Publicatiedatum
01-10-2011
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology / Uitgave 7/2011
Print ISSN: 2730-7166
Elektronisch ISSN: 2730-7174
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-011-9512-8