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Associations Between Conduct Disorder, Neurodevelopmental Problems and Psychopathic Personality Traits in a Swedish Twin Youth Population

Journal article
Authors Olof Svensson
Karolina Sörman
Natalie Durbeej
Paul Lichtenstein
Henrik Anckarsäter
Nora Kerekes
Thomas Nilsson
Published in Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Volume 40
Issue 4
Pages 586-592
ISSN 0882-2689
Publication year 2018
Published at Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Pages 586-592
Language en
Keywords Conduct disorder, Neurodevelopmental problems, Psychopathic traits, Callous-unemotional, Grandiose-deceitful
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry, Applied Psychology


Previous research has found a complex relationship between psychopathic traits, neurodevelopmental problems (NDPs), and conduct disorder (CD) in children. This study explores associations between psychopathic traits, assessed with the Child Problematic Traits Inventory—Short Version (CPTI-SV), and CD in children with and without coexisting NDPs (i.e., attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and autism spectrum disorder [ASD]) in a community-based ample of Swedish twins (n = 8762). Findings indicate weak to moderately strong correlations between psychopathic traits and CD, ADHD, and ASD, respectively. Furthermore, in univariable analyses, both psychopathic traits and NDPs displayed significant positive associations with being screened positive for CD, though only the grandiose-deceitful dimension of CPTI-SV and the ADHD domain concentration and attention deficits remained significantly associated with CD in a multivariable egression model. The results are relevant to screening and assessment in child and youth psychiatry, as a grandiose and deceitful interpersonal style may also be a valid sign of children at risk of developing CD.

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