Previous research identified emotion processing (i.e., emotion recognition and gaze pattern towards emotional stimuli) deficits in youths with callous-unemotional (CU) traits, though mixed results have emerged. CU traits frequently co-occur with high levels of the other psychopathy dimensions, namely narcissism and impulsivity, and overall, psychopathic traits in youths might be better understood from a multidimensional perspective. However, little is known about the contribution of narcissism and impulsivity. Participants included a clinical sample of 116 boys (aged 7–12) with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder based on the DSM-IV criteria. Psychopathic traits were assessed with the Antisocial Process Screening Device. Gaze pattern was recorded with an eye-tracker while participants completed a computerized emotion recognition task. Partial correlations showed negative associations between CU traits and sadness recognition and between narcissism and disgust recognition. Also, CU traits were associated with reduced attention to the mouth of angry faces and the eyes of sad and disgusted faces. Impulsivity was associated with greater attention to the eyes of angry and fearful faces. Narcissism was negatively associated with disgust recognition and the number of fixation to the eyes of angry faces, and positively associated with fixation count and duration to the mouth of angry faces. Findings support the association between CU traits and emotion processing deficits even after controlling for the effects of the other psychopathy dimensions. Our results also preliminary suggested emotional processing impairments associated with narcissism and impulsivity. A better understanding of emotional processing impairments associated with youths’ psychopathy dimensions would provide a new key to interpret extant literature and, more importantly, constitute a first step towards developing early tailored interventions.

Psychopathic traits and emotion processing in a clinical sample of children with disruptive behavior disorder

Valentina Levantini
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Previous research identified emotion processing (i.e., emotion recognition and gaze pattern towards emotional stimuli) deficits in youths with callous-unemotional (CU) traits, though mixed results have emerged. CU traits frequently co-occur with high levels of the other psychopathy dimensions, namely narcissism and impulsivity, and overall, psychopathic traits in youths might be better understood from a multidimensional perspective. However, little is known about the contribution of narcissism and impulsivity. Participants included a clinical sample of 116 boys (aged 7–12) with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder based on the DSM-IV criteria. Psychopathic traits were assessed with the Antisocial Process Screening Device. Gaze pattern was recorded with an eye-tracker while participants completed a computerized emotion recognition task. Partial correlations showed negative associations between CU traits and sadness recognition and between narcissism and disgust recognition. Also, CU traits were associated with reduced attention to the mouth of angry faces and the eyes of sad and disgusted faces. Impulsivity was associated with greater attention to the eyes of angry and fearful faces. Narcissism was negatively associated with disgust recognition and the number of fixation to the eyes of angry faces, and positively associated with fixation count and duration to the mouth of angry faces. Findings support the association between CU traits and emotion processing deficits even after controlling for the effects of the other psychopathy dimensions. Our results also preliminary suggested emotional processing impairments associated with narcissism and impulsivity. A better understanding of emotional processing impairments associated with youths’ psychopathy dimensions would provide a new key to interpret extant literature and, more importantly, constitute a first step towards developing early tailored interventions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1229126
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