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Callous unemotional traits, autism spectrum disorder symptoms and empathy in boys with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder

Pijper, Jarla, de Wied, Minet, van Rijn, Sophie, Van Goozen, Stephanie Helena Maria, Swaab, Hanna and Meeus, Wim 2016. Callous unemotional traits, autism spectrum disorder symptoms and empathy in boys with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. Psychiatry Research 245 , pp. 340-345. 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.053

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Abstract

This study examined additive and interactive effects of callous unemotional (CU) traits and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) symptoms in relation to trait empathy, in boys with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or conduct disorder (CD). Participants were 49 boys with ODD/CD, aged between 7–12 years. Boys completed a questionnaire measure of empathic sadness and a broader questionnaire measure of affective and cognitive empathy. Parents and teachers reported on CU traits, and parents reported on ASD symptoms. In agreement with predictions, results reveal a negative association between CU traits and empathic sadness, particularly strong for ODD/CD boys with low levels of ASD symptoms. Results also reveal a negative association between ASD symptoms and cognitive empathy. Findings suggest that CU traits and ASD symptoms are associated with distinct empathy deficits with poor empathic sadness being more typical of CU traits than ASD symptoms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: ODD; CD; Affective empathy; Cognitive empathy; CU traits; ASD symptoms
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-1781
Funders: Dutch Science Foundation
Date of Acceptance: 15 August 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/94449

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