Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Do callous-unemotional traits moderate the relative importance of parental coercion versus warmth in child conduct problems? An observational study
Article first published online: 5 JUL 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2011 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 52, Issue 12, pages 1308–1315, December 2011
How to Cite
Pasalich, D. S., Dadds, M. R., Hawes, D. J. and 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. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02435.x
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Manuscript accepted 23 May 2011Published online: 5 July 2011
- conduct problems;
- parent–child interaction
Background: Research suggests that parenting has little influence on the development of antisocial behavior in children with callous-unemotional (CU) traits. We aimed to extend and improve on prior studies examining the moderating role of CU traits on associations between parenting and conduct problems, by using independent observations of two key dimensions of parenting: coercion and warmth.
Methods: The participants included clinic-referred conduct-disordered boys (4–12 years; N = 95) and their families. Coercive parenting was coded from observations of family interaction and parental warmth was coded from Five-Minute Speech Samples. CU traits and conduct problems were rated by multiple informants.
Results: In both mothers and fathers, CU traits moderated links between observed parenting and conduct problems. Specifically, coercive parenting was more strongly positively associated with conduct problems in boys with lower levels of CU traits, whereas parental warmth was more strongly negatively associated with conduct problems in boys with higher levels of CU traits.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that different dimensions of parenting may need to be targeted in the treatment of early onset conduct problems in children high and low on CU traits.