Toward new treatments for early-onset conduct disorders in children with limited pro social emotions

M. Dadds

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Background: Parent training interventions are the gold
standard for treating child conduct problems, and Australia
has a proud history of developing evidence-based treatments.
The underlying models of parenting that drive these
treatments, however, are typically limited to teaching parents
to use effective discipline and positive engagement,
attachment, and rewards with the child.
Objectives: This talk will focus on new research that
attempts to fit and match different parenting styles to different
needs of individual children with early-onset behavioural
Methods: Specifically, I will present clinical studies looking
at emotional engagement and eye contact in children with
conduct problems and impairments in empathy (or limited
prosocial emotions in DSM-5).
Findings: Such children have difficulties with emotional
engagement, especially mutual eye gaze, with caregivers.
New treatments might involve intense reciprocated eye
contact to work with parents of such young children. I will
show preliminary results from an innovative parent training
treatment that incorporates these techniques to help
reverse these problems.
Conclusions: Children with early-onset behavioural
problems are a mixed group. Those with limited prosocial
emotions have problems with the mechanics of emotional
engagement. New treatments may benefit from incorporating
a focus on this deficit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-79
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventRoyal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists congress - Brisbane, QLD
Duration: 3 May 20157 May 2015


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