Advertisement

Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 1790–1798 | Cite as

Low Maternal Warmth Mediates the Relationship Between Emotional Neglect and Callous-Unemotional Traits Among Male Juvenile Offenders

  • Madelyne A. Bisby
  • Eva R. KimonisEmail author
  • Natalie Goulter
Original Paper

Abstract

Callous-unemotional traits (CU) are thought to be the developmental precursor to adult psychopathy, and identify antisocial youth at risk for persistent, aggressive conduct problems. Accumulating research supports the importance of parenting factors in the development of CU traits. The overlapping but distinct constructs, parental neglect and low warmth, are both associated with CU/psychopathic traits; however, research is yet to examine the relative contribution of these constructs. The purpose of the present study was to examine the unique contributions of parental neglect and low warmth to CU traits among 227 incarcerated male juvenile offenders (M = 15.73, SD = 1.27 years). Results indicated that low levels of maternal warmth were more strongly associated with CU traits than emotional and physical neglect. Maternal warmth also significantly mediated the association between emotional neglect and CU traits. Findings from this cross-sectional study suggest that parental neglect influences CU traits at least partly through experiences with unresponsive and emotionally “cold” parenting. The findings also support a movement within the field towards addressing parental warmth as a treatment target for antisocial youth with CU traits.

Keywords

Psychopathy Callous-unemotional traits Emotional neglect Parental warmth Maternal warmth 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Gordana Popovic for assistance dealing with missing data.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10826_2017_719_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary Information

References

  1. Bedford, R., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., Wright, N., & Hill, J. (2015). Reduced face preference in infancy: A developmental precursor to callous-unemotional traits? Biological Psychiatry, 78, 144–150.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernstein, D. P., & Fink, L. (1998). Childhood trauma questionnaire: A retrospective self-report manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Bernstein, D. P., Fink, L., Handelsman, L., & Foote, J. (1994). Initial reliability and validity of a new retrospective measure of child abuse and neglect. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 1132–1136.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowlby, J. (1969). Disruption of affectional bonds and its effects on behaviour. Canada’s Mental Health Supplement, 59, 12.Google Scholar
  5. Cleckley, H. (1941). The mask of sanity. St Louis: C. V. Mosby.Google Scholar
  6. Cleckley, H. (1976). The mask of sanity. 5th Ed. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby.Google Scholar
  7. Dawel, A., O’Kearney, R., McKone, E., & Palermo, R. (2012). Not just fear and sadness: Meta-analytic evidence of pervasive emotion recognition deficits for facial and vocal expressions in psychopathy. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 2288–2304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Emde, R. N., Biringen, Z., Clyman, R. B., & Oppenheim, D. (1991). The moral self of infancy: Affective core and procedural knowledge. Developmental Review, 11, 251–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Enns, M., Cox, B. J., & Clara, I. (2002). Parental bonding and adult psychopathology: Results from the US national comorbidity survey. Psychological Medicine, 32, 997–1008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Essau, C. A., Sasagawa, S., & Frick, P. J. (2006). Callous-unemotional traits in a community sample of adolescents. Assessment, 13, 454–469.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Fanti, K. A., Panayiotou, G., Lazarou, C., Michael, R., & Georgiou, G. (2016). The better of two evils? Evidence that children exhibiting continuous conduct problems high or low on callous–unemotional traits score on opposite directions on physiological and behavioral measures of fear. Development and Psychopathology, 28, 185–198.Google Scholar
  12. Fontaine, N. M., McCrory, E. J., Boivin, M., Moffitt, T. E., & Viding, E. (2011). Predictors and outcomes of joint trajectories of callous–unemotional traits and conduct problems in childhood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 730.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Freeze, M. K., Burke, A., & Vorster, A. C. (2014). The role of parental style in the conduct disorders: A comparison between adolescent boys with and without conduct disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 26, 63–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Frick, P. J. (2004). The inventory of callous-unemotional traits – Youth version. Unpublished rating scale, The University of New Orleans.Google Scholar
  15. Frick, P. J. (2009). Extending the construct of psychopathy to youth: Implications for understanding, diagnosing and treating antisocial children and adolescents. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 54, 803–812.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Frick, P. J., Cornell, A. H., Barry, C. T., Bodin, S. D., & Dane, H. E. (2003). Callous-unemotional traits and conduct problems in the prediction of conduct problem severity, aggression, and self-report of delinquency. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31, 457–470.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Frick, P. J., Ray, J. V., Thornton, L. C., & Kahn, R. E. (2014). Can callous-unemotional traits enhance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of serious conduct problems in children and adolescents? A comprehensive review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1–57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Frick, P. J., Stickle, T. R., Dandreaux, D. M., Farrell, J. M., & Kimonis, E. R. (2005). Callous-unemotional traits in predicting the severity and stability of conduct problems and delinquency. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33, 471–487.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gao, Y., Raine, A., Chan, F., Venables, P., & Mednick, S. (2010). Early maternal and paternal bonding, childhood physical abuse and adult psychopathic personality. Psychological Medicine, 40, 1007–1016.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Glenn, A. L., Kurzban, R., & Raine, A. (2011). Evolutionary theory and psychopathy. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16, 371–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Graham, N., Kimonis, E. R., Wasserman, A. L., & Kline, S. M. (2012). Associations among childhood abuse and psychopathy facets in male sexual offenders. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research and Treatment, 3, 66–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hare, R. D. (2003). The hare psychopathy checklist- revised (PCL-R). 2nd ed. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems Inc.Google Scholar
  23. Hawes, D. J., & Dadds, M. R. (2005). The treatment of conduct problems in children with callous-unemotional traits. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 737.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Hawes, D. J., Dadds, M. R., Frost, A. D., & Hasking, P. A. (2011). Do childhood callous-unemotional traits drive change in parenting practices? Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 40, 507–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Herpers, P. C., Scheepers, F. E., Bons, D. M., Buitelaar, J. K., & Rommelse, N. N. (2014). The cognitive and neural correlates of psychopathy and especially callous–unemotional traits in youths: A systematic review of the evidence. Development and Psychopathology, 26, 245–273.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Hornor, G. (2012). Emotional maltreatment. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 26, 436–442.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Howard, J. (1981). The expression and possible origins of depression in male adolescent delinquents. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 15, 311–318.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Karpman, B. (1941). On the need of separating psychopathy into two distinct clinical types: the symptomatic and the idiopathic. Journal of Criminal Psychopathology, 3, 112–137.Google Scholar
  29. Karpman, B. (1948). The myth of the psychopathic personality. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 104, 524–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kimonis, E. R., Fanti, K. A., Isoma, Z., & Donoghue, K. (2013). Maltreatment profiles among incarcerated boys with callous-unemotional traits. Child Maltreatment, 18, 108–121.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Kimonis, E. R., Frick, P. J., Cauffman, E., Goldweber, A., & Skeem, J. (2012). Primary and secondary variants of juvenile psychopathy differ in emotional processing. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 1091.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Kimonis, E. R., Frick, P. J., Muñoz, L. C., & Aucoin, K. J. (2008a). Callous-unemotional traits and the emotional processing of distress cues in detained boys: Testing the moderating role of aggression, exposure to community violence, and histories of abuse. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 56–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kimonis, E. R., Frick, P. J., Skeem, J. L., Marsee, M. A., Cruise, K., Muñoz, L. C., Aucoin, K. J., & Morris, A. S. (2008b). Assessing callous-unemotional traits in adolescent offenders: Validation of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 31, 241–252.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Kimonis, E. R., Goulter, N., Hawes, D. J., Wilbur, R. R., & Groer, M. W. (2016). Neuroendocrine factors distinguish juvenile psychopathy variants. Developmental Psychobiology, 59, 161–173.Google Scholar
  35. Klimes-Dougan, B., & Kistner, J. (1990). Physically abused preschoolers’ responses to peers’ distress. Developmental Psychology, 26, 599–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kochanska, G. (1993). Toward a synthesis of parental socialization and child temperament in early development of conscience. Child Development, 64, 325–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kosson, D. S., Cyterski, T. D., Steuerwald, B. L., Neumann, C. S., & Walker-Matthews, S. (2002). The reliability and validity of the psychopathy checklist: Youth version (PCL: YV) in non-incarcerated adolescent males. Psychological Assessment, 14, 97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Krischer, M. K., & Sevecke, K. (2008). Early traumatization and psychopathy in female and male juvenile offenders. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 31, 253–262.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Kroneman, L. M., Hipwell, A. E., Loeber, R., Koot, H. M., & Pardini, D. A. (2011). Contextual risk factors as predictors of disruptive behavior disorder trajectories in girls: The moderating effect of callous-unemotional features. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 167–175.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Leist, T., & Dadds, M. R. (2009). Adolescents’ ability to read different emotional faces relates to their history of maltreatment and type of psychopathology. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 14, 237–250.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Leistico, A. M., Salekin, R. T., DeCoster, J., & Rogers, R. (2008). A large-scale meta-analysis relating the hare measures of psychopathy to antisocial conduct. Law & Human Behavior, 32, 28–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lewis, M. (1992). The self in self-conscious emotions. Commentary. In D. Stipek, S. Recchia, & S. McClintic, Self-evaluation in young children. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 57(1, Serial No. 226), 85–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maxwell, S. E., & Cole, D. A. (2007). Bias in cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal mediation. Psychological Methods, 12, 23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Marsh, A. A., & Blair, R. J. R. (2008). Deficits in facial affect recognition among antisocial populations: A meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32, 454–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McCabe, K. M., Lansing, A. E., Garland, A. N. N., & Hough, R. (2002). Gender differences in psychopathology, functional impairment, and familial risk factors among adjudicated delinquents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 860–867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McCord, W. M., & McCord, J. (1956). Psychopathy and delinquency. New York, NY: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  47. McDonald, R., Dodson, M. C., Rosenfield, D., & Jouriles, E. N. (2011). Effects of a parenting intervention on features of psychopathy in children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 1013–1023.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. McLoyd, V. C. (1990). The impact of economic hardship on black families and children: Psychological distress, parenting, and socioemotional development. Child Development, 61, 311–346.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Muñoz, L. C., Pakalniskiene, V., & Frick, P. J. (2011). Parental monitoring and youth behavior problems: Moderation by callous-unemotional traits over time. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 20, 261–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Newgard, C. D., & Haukoos, J. S. (2007). Advanced statistics: Missing data in clinical research - Part 2: Multiple imputation. Academic Emergency Medicine, 14, 669–678.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Pardini, D., Lochman, J., & Powell, N. (2007). The development of callous-unemotional traits and antisocial behavior in children: Are there shared and/or unique predictors? Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 36, 319–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Parker, G., Tupling, H., & Brown, L. B. (1979). A parental bonding instrument. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 52, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2011). Do callous‐unemotional traits moderate the relative importance of parental coercion versus warmth in child conduct problems? An observational study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 1308–1315.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Hawes, D. J., & Brennan, J. (2012). Attachment and callous‐unemotional traits in children with early-onset conduct problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 838–845.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Pollak, S. D., Cicchetti, D., Hornung, K., & Reed, A. (2000). Recognising emotion in faces: Developmental effects of child abuse and neglect. Developmental Psychology, 36, 679–688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 879–891.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Salihovic, S., Kerr, M., Özdemir, M., & Pakalniskiene, V. (2012). Directions of effects between adolescent psychopathic traits and parental behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 957–969.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Snyder, H. N., & Sickmund, M. (2006). Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. Washington DC: National Center for Juvenile Justice. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED495786.pdf.
  59. Solis, J. M., Shadur, J. M., Burns, A. R., & Hussong, A. M. (2012). Understanding the diverse needs of children whose parents abuse substances. Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 5, 135–147.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  60. Somech, L. Y., & Elizur, Y. (2012). Promoting self-regulation and cooperation in pre-kindergarten children with conduct problems: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 51, 412–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Viding, E., Blair, R. J. R., Moffitt, T. E., & Plomin, R. (2005). Evidence for substantial genetic risk for psychopathy in 7‐year‐olds. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 592–597.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Viding, E., Fontaine, N. M. G., & McCrory, E. J. (2012a). Antisocial behavior in children with and without callous unemotional traits. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 105, 195–200.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  63. Viding, E., Sebastian, C. L., Dadds, M. R., Lockwood, P. L., Cecil, C. A., De Brito, S. A., & McCrory, E. J. (2012b). Amygdala response to preattentive masked fear in children with conduct problems: The role of callous-unemotional traits. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 1109–1116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Waller, R., Gardner, F., & Hyde, L. W. (2013). What are the associations between parenting, callous–unemotional traits, and antisocial behavior in youth? A systematic review of evidence. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 593–608.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Waller, R., Gardner, F., Hyde, L. W., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M. N. (2012). Do harsh and positive parenting predict parent reports of deceitful‐callous behavior in early childhood? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 946–953.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  66. Waller, R., Shaw, D. S., Forbes, E. E., & Hyde, L. W. (2015). Understanding early contextual and parental risk factors for the development of limited prosocial emotions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43, 1025–1039.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  67. Waller, R., Gardner, F., Viding, E., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., Wilson, M. N., & Hyde, L. W. (2014). Bidirectional associations between parental warmth, callous unemotional behavior, and behavior problems in high-risk preschoolers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 1275–1285.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  68. Weiler, B. L., & Widom, C. S. (1996). Psychopathy and violent behavior in abused and neglected young adults. Criminal Behavior and Mental Health, 6, 253–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madelyne A. Bisby
    • 1
  • Eva R. Kimonis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natalie Goulter
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations