Are Callous Unemotional (CU) Traits Enough?

  • Randall T. Salekin
  • Henrik Andershed
  • Blair D. Batky
  • Andrew P. Bontemps


A guiding question for this special section, sparked by the increasing number of studies on callous –unemotional traits (CU traits) and the DSM-5 Limited Prosocial Emotion (LPE) specifier, is whether CU traits are enough to identify a clinically meaningful subgroup of youth with conduct problems or whether other psychopathic traits contribute. Seven empirical papers and two commentary papers address this question to varying degrees and in different ways with some papers “competing” various models against one another along with other papers investigating distinct correlates of the psychopathy factors. Findings across the papers suggest that there could be benefits to examining the broader construct of psychopathy in addition to examining its underpinning dimensions rather than CU traits alone. Two commentary papers also shed light on the importance of psychopathic traits in children with Conduct Disorder (CD) and provide insights for future work on this topic. It is hoped that the articles and commentary will generate new ideas for research and practice that could have implications for the treatment of those individuals with CD and psychopathic traits.


Psychopathy Child Dimensions GM traits CU traits CD 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Randall T. Salekin, Henrik Andershed, Blair D. Batky and Andrew P. Bontemps declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval and participant consent were not sought/obtained for this paper as it did not involve human participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randall T. Salekin
    • 1
  • Henrik Andershed
    • 2
  • Blair D. Batky
    • 1
  • Andrew P. Bontemps
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Örebro UniversityÖrebroSweden

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