Children and adolescents with disruptive behavior and psychopathic-like features

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

Abstract

Disruptive behavior is one of the most common psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. Psychopathic-like features designate a group of children and adolescents manifesting a severe, aggressive, and persistent pattern of disruptive behavior. These features have many similarities with adult psychopathy. More research is needed to gain an understanding of the different developmental trajectories for psychopathic-like behavior style in children and adolescents. The current study aimed to investigate cognitive, psychosocial, and personality-related characteristics associated with disruptive behavior in children and adolescents. In addition, psychometric properties of one of the psychopathy measures, Antisocial Process Screening Device Self-Report (APSD-SR), were evaluated. In the first study, the working memory (WM) function of school-aged children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)/Conduct Disorder (CD) was compared with age- and gender-matched normative controls. The comorbid diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was controlled for in the patient group. WM function was examined using n-back tasks. The main finding of this study was that patients performed worse on WM tasks than controls, even after controlling for the diagnosis of ADHD. The results suggest that children with disruptive behavior disorders (i.e. ODD and CD) have executive function (EF) deficits, like poor WM, that are not accounted for the comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. The second study, using the data from the Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Study 2012 (FSRD-12), assessed the factor structure and internal consistencies of the APSD-SR in a community sample of 15- to 16-year-old youth (n = 4,855, 51% girls). A three-factor structure of APSD-SR was found to fit the data best, with three meaningful subscales representing narcissism, impulsivity, and callous-unemotional features. The internal consistencies for these subscales were adequate. The results suggest that the self-report version of APSD is a promising screening tool for measuring psychopathic-like features in community youth. The third study used the same FSRD-12 data and examined different types of weapon carrying among youth, and psychosocial and personality-related factors associated with carrying a weapon, especially focusing on the relationship between psychopathic-like features and weapon carrying. The results showed that adolescents carrying weapons had a large cluster of problems in their lives, which were differentiated by the type of weapon carried. In addition, psychopathic-like features were associated with an increased likelihood of carrying any type of weapon (knife, gun, other weapon such as knuckleduster, chain, or pepperspray), but the association was strongest with carrying a gun. This association was significant even after controlling for a variety of psychosocial factors. The findings suggest that psychopathic-like features are strongly related to a higher risk of weapon carrying. Furthermore, the findings underscore the need for a comprehensive evaluation of an adolescent s psychosocial situation, when weapon carrying is identified. Finally, the fourth study investigated the relationship between victimization experiences and psychopathic-like features in youth by using the same FSRD-12 data. The results revealed that victimization was related to psychopathic-like features in youth, even more strongly in girls than in boys. Interestingly, the association between victimization and psychopathic-like features was stronger for recent experiences of victimization than past experiences. The results highlight the need for evaluating victimization experiences when psychopathic-like features are present in youth. Furthermore, some of the juveniles may show psychopathic-like behavior style as a means to cope with trauma.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-51-1803-5
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Fields of Science

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • +diagnosis
  • +physiopathology
  • +psychology
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Weapons
  • 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
  • 3124 Neurology and psychiatry

Cite this

@phdthesis{762235f3ffdb4f0e900c76d19f3a15a1,
title = "Children and adolescents with disruptive behavior and psychopathic-like features",
abstract = "Disruptive behavior is one of the most common psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. Psychopathic-like features designate a group of children and adolescents manifesting a severe, aggressive, and persistent pattern of disruptive behavior. These features have many similarities with adult psychopathy. More research is needed to gain an understanding of the different developmental trajectories for psychopathic-like behavior style in children and adolescents. The current study aimed to investigate cognitive, psychosocial, and personality-related characteristics associated with disruptive behavior in children and adolescents. In addition, psychometric properties of one of the psychopathy measures, Antisocial Process Screening Device Self-Report (APSD-SR), were evaluated. In the first study, the working memory (WM) function of school-aged children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)/Conduct Disorder (CD) was compared with age- and gender-matched normative controls. The comorbid diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was controlled for in the patient group. WM function was examined using n-back tasks. The main finding of this study was that patients performed worse on WM tasks than controls, even after controlling for the diagnosis of ADHD. The results suggest that children with disruptive behavior disorders (i.e. ODD and CD) have executive function (EF) deficits, like poor WM, that are not accounted for the comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. The second study, using the data from the Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Study 2012 (FSRD-12), assessed the factor structure and internal consistencies of the APSD-SR in a community sample of 15- to 16-year-old youth (n = 4,855, 51{\%} girls). A three-factor structure of APSD-SR was found to fit the data best, with three meaningful subscales representing narcissism, impulsivity, and callous-unemotional features. The internal consistencies for these subscales were adequate. The results suggest that the self-report version of APSD is a promising screening tool for measuring psychopathic-like features in community youth. The third study used the same FSRD-12 data and examined different types of weapon carrying among youth, and psychosocial and personality-related factors associated with carrying a weapon, especially focusing on the relationship between psychopathic-like features and weapon carrying. The results showed that adolescents carrying weapons had a large cluster of problems in their lives, which were differentiated by the type of weapon carried. In addition, psychopathic-like features were associated with an increased likelihood of carrying any type of weapon (knife, gun, other weapon such as knuckleduster, chain, or pepperspray), but the association was strongest with carrying a gun. This association was significant even after controlling for a variety of psychosocial factors. The findings suggest that psychopathic-like features are strongly related to a higher risk of weapon carrying. Furthermore, the findings underscore the need for a comprehensive evaluation of an adolescent s psychosocial situation, when weapon carrying is identified. Finally, the fourth study investigated the relationship between victimization experiences and psychopathic-like features in youth by using the same FSRD-12 data. The results revealed that victimization was related to psychopathic-like features in youth, even more strongly in girls than in boys. Interestingly, the association between victimization and psychopathic-like features was stronger for recent experiences of victimization than past experiences. The results highlight the need for evaluating victimization experiences when psychopathic-like features are present in youth. Furthermore, some of the juveniles may show psychopathic-like behavior style as a means to cope with trauma.",
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author = "Suvi Saukkonen",
note = "M1 - 96 s. + liitteet Helsingin yliopisto Volume: Proceeding volume:",
year = "2015",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-951-51-1803-5",
publisher = "Helsingin yliopisto",
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Children and adolescents with disruptive behavior and psychopathic-like features. / Saukkonen, Suvi.

Helsinki : Helsingin yliopisto, 2015. 96 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles

TY - THES

T1 - Children and adolescents with disruptive behavior and psychopathic-like features

AU - Saukkonen, Suvi

N1 - M1 - 96 s. + liitteet Helsingin yliopisto Volume: Proceeding volume:

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Disruptive behavior is one of the most common psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. Psychopathic-like features designate a group of children and adolescents manifesting a severe, aggressive, and persistent pattern of disruptive behavior. These features have many similarities with adult psychopathy. More research is needed to gain an understanding of the different developmental trajectories for psychopathic-like behavior style in children and adolescents. The current study aimed to investigate cognitive, psychosocial, and personality-related characteristics associated with disruptive behavior in children and adolescents. In addition, psychometric properties of one of the psychopathy measures, Antisocial Process Screening Device Self-Report (APSD-SR), were evaluated. In the first study, the working memory (WM) function of school-aged children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)/Conduct Disorder (CD) was compared with age- and gender-matched normative controls. The comorbid diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was controlled for in the patient group. WM function was examined using n-back tasks. The main finding of this study was that patients performed worse on WM tasks than controls, even after controlling for the diagnosis of ADHD. The results suggest that children with disruptive behavior disorders (i.e. ODD and CD) have executive function (EF) deficits, like poor WM, that are not accounted for the comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. The second study, using the data from the Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Study 2012 (FSRD-12), assessed the factor structure and internal consistencies of the APSD-SR in a community sample of 15- to 16-year-old youth (n = 4,855, 51% girls). A three-factor structure of APSD-SR was found to fit the data best, with three meaningful subscales representing narcissism, impulsivity, and callous-unemotional features. The internal consistencies for these subscales were adequate. The results suggest that the self-report version of APSD is a promising screening tool for measuring psychopathic-like features in community youth. The third study used the same FSRD-12 data and examined different types of weapon carrying among youth, and psychosocial and personality-related factors associated with carrying a weapon, especially focusing on the relationship between psychopathic-like features and weapon carrying. The results showed that adolescents carrying weapons had a large cluster of problems in their lives, which were differentiated by the type of weapon carried. In addition, psychopathic-like features were associated with an increased likelihood of carrying any type of weapon (knife, gun, other weapon such as knuckleduster, chain, or pepperspray), but the association was strongest with carrying a gun. This association was significant even after controlling for a variety of psychosocial factors. The findings suggest that psychopathic-like features are strongly related to a higher risk of weapon carrying. Furthermore, the findings underscore the need for a comprehensive evaluation of an adolescent s psychosocial situation, when weapon carrying is identified. Finally, the fourth study investigated the relationship between victimization experiences and psychopathic-like features in youth by using the same FSRD-12 data. The results revealed that victimization was related to psychopathic-like features in youth, even more strongly in girls than in boys. Interestingly, the association between victimization and psychopathic-like features was stronger for recent experiences of victimization than past experiences. The results highlight the need for evaluating victimization experiences when psychopathic-like features are present in youth. Furthermore, some of the juveniles may show psychopathic-like behavior style as a means to cope with trauma.

AB - Disruptive behavior is one of the most common psychiatric problems in children and adolescents. Psychopathic-like features designate a group of children and adolescents manifesting a severe, aggressive, and persistent pattern of disruptive behavior. These features have many similarities with adult psychopathy. More research is needed to gain an understanding of the different developmental trajectories for psychopathic-like behavior style in children and adolescents. The current study aimed to investigate cognitive, psychosocial, and personality-related characteristics associated with disruptive behavior in children and adolescents. In addition, psychometric properties of one of the psychopathy measures, Antisocial Process Screening Device Self-Report (APSD-SR), were evaluated. In the first study, the working memory (WM) function of school-aged children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)/Conduct Disorder (CD) was compared with age- and gender-matched normative controls. The comorbid diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was controlled for in the patient group. WM function was examined using n-back tasks. The main finding of this study was that patients performed worse on WM tasks than controls, even after controlling for the diagnosis of ADHD. The results suggest that children with disruptive behavior disorders (i.e. ODD and CD) have executive function (EF) deficits, like poor WM, that are not accounted for the comorbid diagnosis of ADHD. The second study, using the data from the Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Study 2012 (FSRD-12), assessed the factor structure and internal consistencies of the APSD-SR in a community sample of 15- to 16-year-old youth (n = 4,855, 51% girls). A three-factor structure of APSD-SR was found to fit the data best, with three meaningful subscales representing narcissism, impulsivity, and callous-unemotional features. The internal consistencies for these subscales were adequate. The results suggest that the self-report version of APSD is a promising screening tool for measuring psychopathic-like features in community youth. The third study used the same FSRD-12 data and examined different types of weapon carrying among youth, and psychosocial and personality-related factors associated with carrying a weapon, especially focusing on the relationship between psychopathic-like features and weapon carrying. The results showed that adolescents carrying weapons had a large cluster of problems in their lives, which were differentiated by the type of weapon carried. In addition, psychopathic-like features were associated with an increased likelihood of carrying any type of weapon (knife, gun, other weapon such as knuckleduster, chain, or pepperspray), but the association was strongest with carrying a gun. This association was significant even after controlling for a variety of psychosocial factors. The findings suggest that psychopathic-like features are strongly related to a higher risk of weapon carrying. Furthermore, the findings underscore the need for a comprehensive evaluation of an adolescent s psychosocial situation, when weapon carrying is identified. Finally, the fourth study investigated the relationship between victimization experiences and psychopathic-like features in youth by using the same FSRD-12 data. The results revealed that victimization was related to psychopathic-like features in youth, even more strongly in girls than in boys. Interestingly, the association between victimization and psychopathic-like features was stronger for recent experiences of victimization than past experiences. The results highlight the need for evaluating victimization experiences when psychopathic-like features are present in youth. Furthermore, some of the juveniles may show psychopathic-like behavior style as a means to cope with trauma.

KW - Adolescent

KW - Child

KW - Antisocial Personality Disorder

KW - +diagnosis

KW - +physiopathology

KW - +psychology

KW - Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders

KW - Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity

KW - Conduct Disorder

KW - Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders

KW - Memory, Short-Term

KW - Psychiatric Status Rating Scales

KW - Weapons

KW - 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics

KW - 3124 Neurology and psychiatry

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

SN - 978-951-51-1803-5

PB - Helsingin yliopisto

CY - Helsinki

ER -