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The relationship between large cavum septum pellucidum and antisocial behavior, callous-unemotional traits and psychopathy in adolescents


  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.


Background:  The presence of a large cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) has been previously associated with antisocial behavior/psychopathic traits in an adult community sample.

Aims:  The current study investigated the relationship between a large CSP and symptom severity in disruptive behavior disorders (DBD; conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder).

Method:  Structural MRI scans of youth with DBDs (N = 32) and healthy comparison youth (N = 27) were examined for the presence of a large CSP and if this was related to symptom severity.

Results:  Replicating previous results, a large CSP was associated with DBD diagnosis, proactive aggression, and level of psychopathic traits in youth. However, the presence of a large CSP was unrelated to aggression or psychopathic traits within the DBD sample.

Conclusions:  Early brain mal-development may increase the risk of a DBD diagnosis, but does not mark a particularly severe form of DBD within patients receiving these diagnoses.

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