Emotional Reactivity and Antisocial Behavior Relative to Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Expression: a Latent Profile Analysis

  • Molly A. Miller
  • Monica A. MarseeEmail author


This study examined whether emotional reactivity was associated with violent juvenile offending in a sample of detained boys (N = 198). It was predicted that Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) would reveal a “low reactivity” group, characterized by symptoms of emotional numbing and callous-unemotional (CU) traits, and a “high reactivity” group, characterized by symptoms of hyperarousal and emotional dysregulation. It was hypothesized that the low reactivity group would have higher rates of violent offending and proactive aggression than the high reactivity group. Contrary to expectations, results indicated that the presence of both emotional numbing and hyperarousal symptoms, but not hyperarousal symptoms alone, were associated with higher rates of violent offending, CU traits, and proactive aggression. Results indicate that the risk of serious aggressive behavior and violent offending may be highest among youth who are easily provoked to respond aggressively (i.e., hyperarousal symptoms) while simultaneously able to maintain emotional detachment (i.e., elevated emotional numbing symptoms and CU traits).


Emotional reactivity Aggression Callous-unemotional traits Posttraumatic stress Latent profile analysis Juvenile offending 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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