Developmental precursors of primary and secondary callous-unemotional traits among youth.
Craig, S. G., Goulter, N., Andrade, B. F., & McMahon, R. J. (2021). Developmental precursors of primary and secondary callous-unemotional traits among youth. Child Psychiatry and Human Development. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-021-01271-x
Abstract: There is growing evidence of diverse etiological pathways to the development of callous-unemotional (CU) traits, known as primary and secondary CU variants. The purpose of the present study was to extend previous cross-sectional research and examine theoretical predictors of CU variants prospectively from childhood to adolescence. Participants included high-risk control and normative samples from the Fast Track project (N=754, male=58%, Black=46%). Using structural equation modelling, primary CU traits, identified in early adolescence, were associated with higher levels of childhood emotion regulation and lower levels of prosocial behavior. Secondary CU traits were associated with lower levels of childhood emotion regulation and low parental warmth, but not prosocial behaviour. Neither CU variant was related to harsh parenting. Parental warmth moderated emotion regulation and prosocial behavior on secondary CU traits. Results were not moderated by sex. A greater understanding of theoretical developmental precursors of CU variants may better guide intervention efforts.