Parental practices are associated with psychopathic traits across several developmental stages. However, the majority of available studies focused mainly on the affective dimension of psychopathy, namely callous-unemotional traits, disregarding the grandiose-deceitful and impulsivity–need for stimulation dimensions. The current study examines the distinct associations between all three dimensions with parental practices (parental involvement, poor monitoring, inconsistent discipline, and corporal punishment) after considering the effect of conduct problems (CPs) and sex in a Greek-Cypriot primary school sample (N = 792, Mage = 6.93, SD = 0.72) and a Dutch clinical-referred sample (N = 217, Mage = 9.55, SD = 1.79) of children. In the community sample, hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that parents of children with high levels of callous-unemotional traits were more likely to engage in inconsistent discipline but less in positive parental practices. In contrast, high levels of impulsivity–need for stimulation were related to inconsistent discipline. In the clinical sample, callous-unemotional traits were associated with less parental involvement and grandiose-deceitful dimension with high levels of inconsistent discipline. These findings suggest that the three psychopathy dimensions have unique relations with parental practices above and beyond CPs, proposing that parental practices may be influenced more strongly by psychopathic traits than by antisocial behavior.
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The research conducted in Cyprus, leading to these results received funding from Leventis Foundation grants and the University of Cyprus. The research conducted in The Netherlands was supported by the Aggression in Children: Unraveling gene-environment interplay to inform Treatment and InterventiON strategies project (ACTION). ACTION received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no 602768.
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
All procedures performed in the study regarding the sample recruited in Cyprus - involving human participants - were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee (Centre of Educational Research and Assessment of Cyprus, Pedagogical Institute, Ministry of Education and Culture and Cyprus National Bioethics Committee) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Similar all procedures performed regarding the sample recruited in The Netherlands were reviewed and approved by the ethics board of Leiden University Medical Center.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Georgiou, G., Demetriou, C.A., Colins, O.F. et al. Psychopathic Traits and Parental Practices in Greek-Cypriot Community and Dutch Clinical Referred Samples. Res Child Adolesc Psychopathol 51, 1129–1141 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-023-01060-1