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Fearlessness and Low Social Affiliation As Unique Developmental Precursors of Callous-Unemotional Behaviors in Preschoolers

A new study led by PISC Senior Scholar Rebecca, PhD, examines pathways between observed fear in response to social and non-social stimuli and observed social affiliation during social interactions at age 3 and increases in child CU behaviors and oppositional-defiant behaviors from ages 3 to 5.


The study found that Fearlessness and low social affiliation uniquely predicted increases in CU behaviors, but not oppositional-defiant behaviors, from ages 3 to 5. Moreover, there was evidence for differential moderation of the fear pathway by harsh parenting, such that harsh parenting predicted increases in CU behaviors in fearless children but increases in oppositional-defiant behaviors in fearful children.



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