Callous-unemotional traits and anxiety in adolescents: a latent profile analysis to identify different types of antisocial behavior in a high-risk community sample

Philip J.S. Michielsen, Maaike M.J. Habra, Joyce J. Endendijk, Diandra C. Bouter, Nina H. Grootendorst-van Mil, Witte J.G. Hoogendijk, Sabine J. Roza*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objective: Callous-unemotional (CU) traits are associated with a more severe and chronic trajectory of antisocial behavior. The present study aimed to identify different classes of CU and anxiety and to compare these classes on overt and covert antisocial behavior and several clinical correlates. Method: In a prospective high-risk cohort of adolescents (N = 679; mean age = 14.77, SD = 0.81), latent profile analysis was conducted using CU traits and anxiety symptoms as indicators, and multi-informant aggressive and rule breaking behavior as distal outcomes. Post-hoc analyses with binary logistic regression and a series of ANCOVA were performed on identified classes assessing violent aggression, property offending, and clinical correlates. Results: Three classes were found, a reference group (low CU, low anxiety; N = 500), a high CU-low anxiety group (N = 98), and an intermediate CU-high anxious group (N = 81). The high CU-low anxiety group scored highest on property offenses, while the intermediate CU-high anxious group scored highest on aggressive behavior. The intermediate CU-high anxious group scored highest on psychotic experiences, while the high CU group scored highest on internet gaming addiction problems and bullying victimization. Conclusion: These findings provide further evidence for diverse variants of CU traits in a high-risk community sample. Future prospective studies should point out whether and to what extent adolescents with CU traits with and without anxiety develop criminal careers and psychiatric disorders in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The iBerry Study is funded by the Erasmus University Medical Center and the following mental healthcare institutes: Parnassia Psychiatric Institute Antes, GGz Breburg, GGz Delfland, GGz Westelijk Noord-Brabant and Yulius. All funding organizations participate in the Epidemiological and Social Psychiatric Research Institute (ESPRi), a consortium of academic and non-academic research groups.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

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