Defense Date

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Terri N. Sullivan

Abstract

Callous-Unemotional (CU) traits are characterized by limited empathy, lack of guilt or remorse, and callous use of others. They are a risk factor for adult psychopathy, especially when comorbid with conduct problems. Thus, efforts to identify risk factors and consequences of CU traits have been prominent. One construct that may act as both a risk factor for and consequence of CU traits among youth is anxiety. While the most consistent finding is in this literature is a negative relation between CU traits and anxiety, findings have been mixed. The present study examined bidirectional relations between three subtypes of anxiety (i.e. physiological anxiety, fear and concentration problems, and worry and oversensitivity), CU traits, and conduct problems over six months among a sample of primarily African American middle school students. Results showed that CU traits at Time 1 were not associated with changes in physiological anxiety, fear and concentration problems, or worry and oversensitivity at Time 2. Similarly, physiological anxiety, fear and concentration problems, and worry and oversensitivity at Time 1 were not associated with increased CU traits at Time 2. Further, no longitudinal relations were found between CU traits and conduct problems. The six-month timeframe may have been too short to see changes in anxiety and CU traits given their stability. The models tested also did not take into account the impact of factors such as distress and trauma which may influence bidirectional relations between CU traits and anxiety.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

10-1-2017

Included in

Psychology Commons

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