I read interesting research paper about callous-unemotional traits in children


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Unfortunately it is not available in English, but I wanted to summarize some main points for you, because we often talk about kids with these traits. Callous-unemotional traits mean, that people who have those do not show empathy and often don't seem to have conscience. In adults they are the central issue that make psychopaths psychopaths, with children they are considered a major risk for development.

These traits are found commonly (20-50 %) of kids with conduct disorder, but they can be found also from kids without conduct disorder (3-7 %.) There seem to be both genetic and environmental factors involved in development of these traits. Some children will grow out of these traits, but for many they tend to be continuing issues and commonly used treatment methods have not been too helpful. With adults treatment of these traits is even less helpful.

However there has been one treatment method that shows promise with kids especially if started early, even before age of 6 or 7. Parent/guardian education to follow certain parenting methods have been shown to be very effective in preventing these traits and it also shows promise when treating kids who are already exhibiting these traits. These parenting techniques that work are sensitive, warm and giving child a lot of positive attention and avoiding consequences.

Effective ways to parent a child with these traits is to show lots of empathy, attention, helping child to problem solve by listening and talking and playing with a child a lot. These methods teach child attachment, problem solving, self-respect and co-operation. Second step is to teach social skills, thinking skills and build motivation by coaching, praising, encouragement and rewarding. This should be used a lot.

Next step is to build responsibility, predictability and obedience. This is done by simple clear house rules and structure that are followed with consistency. When child is behaving irritating or provocative way, parents are coached to ignore or divert. Consequences (punishments, natural consequences or loss of privileges) are only used for aggressive behaviours and with great caution.

The method used is this: http://incredibleyears.com/

I found the article very interesting and considering these callous-unemotional traits are what most of us find most worrying in our kids, I wanted to share it even without having English version of the article. If someone wants to try their luck with Google translator with original article, pm me and I will give you a link.