Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 773–785 | Cite as

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

  • Eva R. Kimonis
  • Paul J. Frick
  • Luna C. Munoz
  • Katherine J. Aucoin


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.


Callous-unemotional traits Emotional processing Aggression Violence Delinquency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva R. Kimonis
    • 1
  • Paul J. Frick
    • 2
  • Luna C. Munoz
    • 3
  • Katherine J. Aucoin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychology & Social Behavior, School of Social EcologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioural, Social, and Legal SciencesOrebro UniversityOrebroSweden
  4. 4.Jefferson Parish Human Services AuthorityMarreroUSA

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