Continuity and Change in Psychopathic Traits Among School-Aged Children with Conduct Problems

  • Vincent BéginEmail author
  • Michèle Déry
  • Yann Le Corff
Original Article


The three dimensions of psychopathic traits in childhood have been consistently associated with high levels of conduct problems among children. However, little is known about the continuity and change in psychopathic traits among children with conduct problems. This study aimed to examine the homotypic continuity and change of the three dimensions of psychopathic traits from 8 to 14 years old among 370 children (40.3% girls) who were identified at school as having conduct problems at study inception. Results supported the structural continuity of the tridimensional model of psychopathic traits and revealed that the callous-unemotional dimension is more stable than the two other dimensions. However, the levels of the three dimensions of psychopathic traits remained high over time among a substantial number of children with conduct problems. This study has implications regarding the longitudinal assessment of psychopathic traits within this specific population.


Psychopathic traits Psychopathy Continuity Development Conduct problems 



This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Grant No. NRF 82694), by he Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Grant No. SSHRC; 435-2012-0803), and by a research grant from the SSHRC awarded to the first author.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de psychoéducationUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Département d’orientation professionnelleUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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