Bidirectional Effects between Psychopathic Traits and Conduct Problems in Early ChildhoodExamining Parenting as Potential Mediator

  1. Laura López-Romero 1
  2. Beatriz Domínguez-Álvarez 1
  3. Aimé Isdahl-Troye 1
  4. Estrella Romero 1
  1. 1 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Revista de Psicología Clínica con Niños y Adolescentes

ISSN: 2340-8340

Ano de publicación: 2021

Volume: 8

Número: 2

Páxinas: 5

Tipo: Artigo

Outras publicacións en: Revista de Psicología Clínica con Niños y Adolescentes


The association between psychopathic traits and conduct problems has been extensively analyzed, with results showing a significant predictive effect of psychopathic traits on later conduct problems. However, some recent research has evidenced some reversed effects, with early-onset conduct problems also showing a significant effect on psychopathic traits. The present study aimed to examine the longitudinal effects (i.e., autoregressive, direct, and bidirectional) between the three psychopathy dimensions (i.e., interpersonal, affective, and behavioral), and conduct problems in two data collections spanning one year (T1-T2). The potential mediation effect from inconsistent parenting and parental warmth was also analyzed. Data were collected, trough parents’ reports, in a sample of 1.833 children (48.8% girls; Mage = 4.24; SD = 0.92), participating in the ELISA study (Longitudinal Study for a Healthy Childhood). A cross-lagged path analysis with mediation effects was performed in Mplus. Results showed autoregressive, direct and bidirectional effects between psychopathic traits and conduct problems. Hence, whilst T1 conduct problems predicted all psychopathy dimensions in T2, only callous-unemotional and impulsive/need of stimulation traits measured in T1 predicted conduct problems in T2. Finally, some marginal mediation effects from inconsistent parenting and parental warmth were also observed, particularly in the relationship between interpersonal and affective psychopathic traits, and later CP through parental warmth. Current findings provide relevant implications for developmental models of psychopathic traits, as well as for predictive models and preventive strategies on early-onset conduct problems

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