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Genetic and environmental aetiology of the dimensions of Callous-Unemotional traits

Henry, J; Pingault, J-B; Boivin, M; Rijsdijk, F; Viding, E; (2015) Genetic and environmental aetiology of the dimensions of Callous-Unemotional traits. Psychological Medicine , 46 (2) pp. 405-414. 10.1017/S0033291715001919. Green open access

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Abstract

A Callous-Unemotional trait specifier (termed ‘Limited Prosocial Emotions’) was added to the diagnosis of conduct disorder in DSM-5. The Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) is a comprehensive measure of these traits assessing three distinct, yet correlated dimensions – Callousness, Uncaring, and Unemotional – all thought to reflect the general Callous-Unemotional construct. The present study was the first to examine the degree to which the aetiology of these dimensions is shared v. independent. Parent-reported ICU data from 5092 16-year-old twin pairs from the Twins Early Development Study were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. Multivariate genetic modelling was applied to the best-fitting structure. A general-specific structure, retaining a general factor and two uncorrelated specific factors (Callousness-Uncaring, Unemotional), provided the best fit to the data. The general factor was substantially heritable (h2 = 0.58, 95% CI 0.51–0.65). Unusually, shared environmental influences were also important in accounting for this general factor (c2 = 0.26, 95% CI 0.22–0.31), in addition to non-shared environmental influences. The Unemotional dimension appeared phenotypically and genetically distinct as shown by the substantial loadings of unemotional items on a separate dimension and a low genetic correlation between Unemotional and Callousness-Uncaring. A general factor, indicative of a shared phenotypic structure across the dimensions of the ICU was under substantial common genetic and more modest shared environment influences. Our findings also suggest that the relevance of the Unemotional dimension as part of a comprehensive assessment of CU traits should be investigated further.

Type: Article
Title: Genetic and environmental aetiology of the dimensions of Callous-Unemotional traits
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0033291715001919
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291715001919
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Social Sciences, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Psychology, Clinical, Psychiatry, Psychology, Callous-unemotional traits, conduct problems, genetic and environmental contributions, psychopathy, TWINS EARLY DEVELOPMENT, CONFIRMATORY FACTOR-ANALYSIS, CONDUCT PROBLEMS, COMMUNITY SAMPLE, ADOLESCENT OFFENDERS, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS, BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS, INVENTORY, VALIDATION, CHILDREN
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/1480824
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