Affective traits, including irritability and limited prosocial emotions/callous-unemotional traits (LPE/CU), each explain significant variance in youth conduct problems but few studies have examined these constructs simultaneously. This study examined whether irritability, LPE/CU, or their combination explained significant variance in measures of internalizing or externalizing psychopathology, aggression, peer problems, impairment, or parenting. Participants were 219 elementary-school-age children, including 178 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and/or conduct disorder and 41 typically developing children. Results of analyses showed that irritability and LPE/CU had significant and sometimes unique associations with measures of child behavior, impairment, and parenting. There was also evidence that the interaction between irritability and LPE/CU was significantly associated with aggression and impairment. These findings suggest that irritability and LPE/CU should be examined together when assessing and treating conduct problems in youth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology