Little research has examined how children with conduct problems and concurrent callous-unemotional traits (CPCU) emotionally and behaviorally respond to time-out. This pilot study examined the distribution and stability of emotions during time-out as well as the association between emotions and negative behaviors. Participants were 11 children (Mage = 9.8 years) with CPCU who participated in a summer treatment program designed specifically for children with CPCU. Summer treatment program counselors rated each child’s emotion when time-out was first assigned and then as the time-out progressed and indicated whether the child had negative behavior during time-out. These ratings were completed for approximately 30% of time-outs that occurred. Results showed that children were mostly rated as “unemotional” or “calm” and that these emotions were relatively stable throughout time-out. Furthermore, negative behaviors were most common during time-outs when children’s emotions were rated as “amused.” Results provide groundwork for future research to extend upon the methods used in the current study to further examine the emotional and behavioral response to time-out in children with CPCU.
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