Assessing Callous-Unemotional Traits in a Spanish Sample of Institutionalized Youths: The Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits

  • Laura López-Romero
  • J. Antonio Gómez-Fraguela
  • Estrella Romero


Callous and unemotional traits (CU), considered as the hallmark of the construct of psychopathy, have shown their relevance in designating a specific subgroup of youths with a distinctive pattern of severe conduct problems and antisocial behavior. In order to improve the existing measures, the Inventory of Callous Unemotional traits (ICU) was developed to provide a reliable and valid measure of CU traits in youth populations. The present study aims to validate the Spanish self-reported version of the ICU in a sample of 324 institutionalized youths. Firstly, the factor structure of the ICU was tested in order to identify distinctive dimensions of CU traits. Secondly, the association of the ICU with other measures of personality and psychopathic traits, as well as with a set of external behavioral and psychosocial variables, was examined. Finally, the usefulness of CU traits measured through the ICU to designate a distinctive subgroup of antisocial youths was also investigated. After some scale refinement, results confirm the validity of the ICU as a reliable and efficient measure of CU traits in youth samples, provide some evidence as regards the dimensionality of the construct, and support its relevance in identifying a specific subgroup of youths showing a pattern of serious behavioral and psychosocial disadjustment.


Callous-unemotional traits Antisocial behavior Institutionalized Youths 



This research was supported by the Spanish Ministries of Science and Innovation (grant PSI2011-29704-C03-01), and Education (the Teacher Training University Program - Programa de Formación de Profesorado Universitario, FPU: AP2009-0714).

Conflict of Interest

Laura López-Romero declares that there is no conflict of interest, J. Antonio Gómez-Fraguela declares that there is no conflict of interest, Estrella Romero declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Experiment Participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the Bioethics Comittee at the University of Santiago de Compostela, the Regional Government (Xunta de Galicia), the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Spanish Government, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura López-Romero
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Antonio Gómez-Fraguela
    • 1
  • Estrella Romero
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and PsychobiologyUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Psicología Clínica y PsicobiologíaFacultad de PsicologíaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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