Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
The Developmental Origins of Callous-Unemotional Traits
Callous-unemotional (CU) traits are critical to understanding the development of severe forms of aggression and antisocial behavior. CU traits include deficits in empathy and prosocial behavior, as well as reduced interpersonal sensitivity to others. In this talk, I will present work examining the measurement, meaning, and construct validity of CU traits in childhood. Next, I will examine the interacting roles of heritable and non-heritable influences on the development of CU traits, with a focus on the parent-child dyad. I will conclude by presenting recent work examining the origins of CU traits within a neurogenetics framework. My work uses a variety of designs, methodologies, and levels of measurement, from molecular genetics, to neuroimaging and observations of parents and children in their homes or in the lab, and within adopted, monozygotic twin, community, and adjudicated samples of children. By adopting this a multi-method approach, my work on the developmental origins of CU traits aims to improve our ability to identify those children at the highest risk for costly and harmful forms of antisocial behavior across the lifespan, and thus improve the tailoring of preventative interventions accordingly.
A pizza lunch will be served at 11:45am. The seminar will begin at 12:00pm.