Background: Antisocial children with callous-unemotional (CU) traits appear to be disconnected from other people's emotions; although little is known about their experience of the parent-child emotional bond. This study examined parent-child attachment relationships and levels of CU traits in conduct-problem children. Method: Attachment classifications in boys (M = 6.31 years) with disruptive behaviour disorders were assessed using the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task. Multiple informants rated children's CU traits. Results: Independent of severity of conduct problems, high levels of CU traits were associated with more insecure attachment; specifically, disorganised attachment representations; however, CU traits were not associated with avoidant representations. Conclusions: Among conduct-problem children, those higher on CU traits appear to be at increased risk of experiencing disruptions in parent-child attachment relationships; attachment may be an important area for treatment and prevention efforts for CU traits in young children.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2012|
- conduct problems
- parent-child relationship