Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 15–28 | Cite as

Types of Aggression, Responsiveness to Provocation, and Callous-unemotional Traits in Detained Adolescents

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


The present study investigated differences in the behavioral and psychophysiological responses to provocation and in the level of callous-unemotional traits in boys exhibiting different patterns of aggression. Eighty-five boys (ages 13–18) in a juvenile detention center played a competitive computer task against a hypothetical peer who provided low and high levels of provocation. Youth high on both self-reported reactive and proactive aggression showed different behavioral responses to provocation than youth high on only reactive aggression. Specifically, the combined group showed high levels of aggressive responses without any provocation, whereas the group high on reactive aggression showed an increase in aggressive responding to low provocation. Further, results revealed a trend for the combined group to show lower levels of skin conductance reactivity to low provocation if they were also high on callous-unemotional traits.


Psychopathy Callous-unemotional traits Aggression Autonomic reactivity 



Special thanks to Dr. John Ryals at the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Assessment Center for all his help starting this project. We also would like to thank the staff at the Detention Center, particularly Nat Williams and Christopher Bruno. We are grateful for the programming expertise of Matthew Johnsen and the voice recordings provided by Marc Holmes. Finally, we are especially grateful for the superb and dedicated work of our research assistants: Jessica Donegan, Darryl Gordon, Joanna Laux, Katherine Peak, and Natalie Tompson.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luna C. Muñoz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul J. Frick
    • 2
  • Eva R. Kimonis
    • 3
  • Katherine J. Aucoin
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Developmental Research, BSR: Psychology DepartmentÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychology and Social BehaviorUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  4. 4.Jefferson Parish Human Services AuthorityMarreroUSA

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