, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 773-785
Date: 18 May 2007

Can a Laboratory Measure of Emotional Processing Enhance the Statistical Prediction of Aggression and Delinquency in Detained Adolescents with Callous-unemotional Traits?

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In this cross-sectional study, we investigated whether the combination of the presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits and emotional deficits to distressing stimuli, assessed by a computerized dot-probe task, enhanced the statistical prediction of aggression and delinquency in a sample of 88 detained and predominantly African-American (68%) adolescents (M age = 15.57; SD = 1.28). Overall, self-reported CU traits were associated with self-report measures of aggression and delinquency, but not with official records of arrests. However, there was an interaction between CU traits and emotional deficits for predicting self-reported aggression, self-reported violent delinquency, and a record of violent arrests. Youth high on CU traits and who showed a deficit in their responses to visual depictions of distress showed the highest levels of aggression and violent delinquency.