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A Longitudinal Twin Study of Callous-Unemotional Traits During Childhood

Henry, J; Dionne, G; Viding, E; Petitclerc, A; Feng, B; Vitaro, F; Brendgen, M; ... Boivin, M; + view all (2018) A Longitudinal Twin Study of Callous-Unemotional Traits During Childhood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology , 127 (4) pp. 374-384. 10.1037/abn0000349. Green open access

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Abstract

Previous research indicates that genetic factors largely account for the stability of callousunemotional (CU) traits in adolescence. However, the genetic-environmental aetiology of the development of CU traits has not been extensively investigated in childhood, despite work showing the reliable measurement and stability of CU traits from a young age. The aim of this study was to investigate the temporal pattern of genetic and environmental aetiology of CU traits across primary school, from school entry (7 years) to middle (9 and 10 years) and late childhood (12 years). Data were collected in a population sample of twins composed of 662 twin pairs (Quebec Newborn Twin Study). CU traits were reported by teachers and analyzed using a biometric latent growth curve model and a Cholesky decomposition model. Latent growth curve analyses revealed that genetic factors explain most of the variance in the intercept of CU traits. Individual differences in change over time were not significant. The Cholesky model revealed that genetic factors at 7 years had enduring contributions to CU traits at 9, 10 and 12 years. New, modest genetic contributions appeared at 9 and 10 years. Non-shared environmental contributions were generally age-specific. No shared environmental contributions were detected. In sum, both modeling approaches showed that genetic factors underlie CU traits during childhood. Initial and new genetic contributions arise during this period. Environments have substantial contributions, over and above genetic factors. Future research should investigate the source of genetic risk associated with CU traits.

Type: Article
Title: A Longitudinal Twin Study of Callous-Unemotional Traits During Childhood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/abn0000349
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1037/abn0000349
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Callous-unemotional traits, Genetic-environmental aetiology, Cholesky decomposition, Linear latent growth curve model, Twin studies.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051053
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