Reward dominance: Associations with anxiety, conduct problems, and psychopathy in children
- Cite this article as:
- O'Brien, B.S. & Frick, P.J. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1996) 24: 223. doi:10.1007/BF01441486
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The associations between children's behavior and their performance on a task with a steadily increasing ratio of punished to rewarded responses was investigated in a group of clinic-referred (n= 92) and normal control (n= 40) children between the ages of 6 and 13. Clinic-referred children with an anxiety disorder played significantly fewer trials than clinic-referred children without an anxiety disorder but the response style of the anxious children did not differ from that of a normal control group. Children with severe conduct problems who had no anxiety disorder played more trials than (a) children with severe conduct problems and a comorbid anxiety disorder, (b) nonanxious children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and (c) children in the normal control group. The strongest evidence for the reward dominant response style was for nonanxious subjects with elevations on a measure of psychopathic features, irrespective of whether they also had conduct problems and irrespective of whether they were clinic-referred.