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Callous-unemotional traits in the school context: relationships with intra-individual and interpersonal school related factors

Hwang, Suhlim; (2021) Callous-unemotional traits in the school context: relationships with intra-individual and interpersonal school related factors. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Callous-unemotional (CU) traits have been shown to be a temperamental risk factor identifying a subgroup of antisocial children with more severe and persistent antisocial behaviour. While existing research has demonstrated that antisocial children with CU traits show particularly severe impairment across multiple domains, much of this research has focused on the family context. Therefore, the current thesis aimed to explore CU traits in the school context. The four empirical studies included in this thesis use longitudinal data collected in South Korean primary schools (N = 218, aged 10–12 years; 52% boys) to examine questions regarding: 1) the validity of the CU traits measure in South Korean children; 2) unique associations of CU traits in predicting the trajectories of school-related outcomes; 3) the moderating effect of CU traits on teacher classroom strategies; and 4) associations between CU traits and social affiliation in school. The results of a confirmatory factor analysis supported the validity of the revised CU traits scale in the current sample. Furthermore, the results of latent growth curve modelling showed that CU traits are a unique predictor of a stable pattern of school disengagement across the school year. There was a significant interaction effect between CU traits and teacher strategies in predicting child engagement, such that harsh discipline predicted lower engagement only among children with low CU traits. A cross-lagged model analysis showed significant longitudinal associations between CU traits and social affiliation, such that CU traits predicted decreased teacher affiliation, and in turn, increased CU traits. The current thesis also includes a cross-sectional study examining the indirect effect of CU traits on academic grades via punishment insensitivity in secondary school students in the United Kingdom (N = 437, aged 11–14 years; 51% boys). The results of the mediation analysis showed that CU traits had a significant indirect effect on the association between CU traits and poor Maths and Science but not English grades via punishment insensitivity. The findings from this thesis support the validity of a measure of CU traits in South Korean primary schools in relation to a wide range of school-related outcomes, highlighting the importance of considering CU traits in the school context to identify at-risk children and targets for intervention.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Callous-unemotional traits in the school context: relationships with intra-individual and interpersonal school related factors
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122980
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