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The Relation Between Callous-Unemotional Traits, Psychosocial Maturity, and Delinquent Behavior Among Justice-Involved Youth.

NCJ Number
Child Development Volume: 91 Issue: 1 Dated: 2019 Pages: 120-133
Cortney. Simmons; Adam Fine; Alissa Knowles; Paul J Frick; Laurence Steinberg; Elizabeth Cauffman
Date Published
14 pages
This study used a sample of justice-involved male youth (N - 1,216, M age = 15.29) to examine whether psychosocial maturity (PSM) outweighed or attenuated the effect of callous-unemotional (CU) traits on delinquency.
Callous-unemotional (CU) traits are a risk factor for severe and persistent patterns of juvenile delinquency. Given the influence of CU trait assessments in justice- system settings, it is important to determine whether the predictive utility of CU traits is conditional on the absence of protective psychosocial factors. Results from the current study indicated that youth with high CU traits or low PSM offended more during the year following their first arrest. Additionally, PSM moderated the relation between CU traits and offending, such that higher PSM was associated with less offending, but only among low CU youth. (publisher abstract modified)