“Callous” Children No More Likely To Display Psychopathy As Adults – But May Be At Greater Risk Of Committing Violent Crime

Anyone who has been to a 20th year class reunion knows that the rat bags they knew at school don’t often get any better

Research Digest

GettyImages-538906704.jpgBy Emma Young

Is it possible to spot the signs of future psychopathy in a child? Some researchers have argued that it is by looking at the child’s level of “interpersonal callousness” (IC), or the extent to which they are manipulative, dishonest, and show a lack of guilt, remorse or distress at being punished. Indeed, previous studies have found that children who rank high for IC are more likely to develop psychopathic features, as well as to commit violent offences in adolescence and adulthood. So, case closed?

Not according to a new study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. This work, led by Meagan Docherty and Jordan Beardslee at Arizona State University, suggests that other important risk factors for these negative outcomes in adolescence and adulthood haven’t been properly taken into account — and that when they are, the apparent link between childhood callousness and…

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