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Callous-Unemotional Traits and Social Information Processing: Multiple Risk-Factor Models for Understanding Aggressive Behavior in Antisocial Youth

Timothy R. Stickle, Neil M. Kirkpatrick and Lauren N. Brush
Law and Human Behavior
Vol. 33, No. 6 (Dec., 2009), pp. 515-529
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40540289
Page Count: 15
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Callous-Unemotional Traits and Social Information Processing: Multiple Risk-Factor Models for Understanding Aggressive Behavior in Antisocial Youth
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Abstract

This study examined multiple risk factor models of links among callous-unemotional traits, aggression beliefs, social information processing, impulsivity, and aggressive behavior in a sample of 150 antisocial adolescents. Consistent with past research, results indicated that beliefs legitimizing aggression predicted social information processing biases and that social information processing biases mediated the effect of beliefs on aggressive behavior. Callous-unemotional traits accounted for unique variance in aggression above and beyond effects of more established risk factors of early onset of antisocial behavior, social information processing, and impulsivity. These findings add to recent research showing that callous-unemotional traits are a unique risk factor associated with aggression and criminal offending and suggest that targeting both affective and cognitive vulnerabilities may enhance clinical intervention with antisocial youth.

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