Robertson, E. L, Frick, P., Ray, J. V, Thornton, L., Myers, T. D, Steinberg, L. & Cauffman, E. (2018). The associations among callous-unemotional traits, worry, and aggression in justice-involved adolescent boys. Clinical Psychological Science,6(5), 671-684. United States: Sage Publications. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702618766351
Previous research has reported that elevations on both callous-unemotional (CU) traits and anxiety (measured as trait worry) among adolescents are associated with a particularly severe pattern of aggressive behavior. In the current study, we tested whether elevated trait worry would add only to the prediction of less severe and reactive aggression assessed by self-report but not to more severe violence, proactive aggression, and official records of violent arrests. First-time male juvenile offenders (N = 1,216) were assessed at 6-month intervals for 30 months. Contrary to predictions, our analyses found both CU traits and worry independently predicted self-reported violent offenses (regardless of violence severity) and aggression (both proactive and reactive) across 30 months after their first arrest. However, when using arrest records, only CU traits were associated with violent offenses. This suggests that the additive effects of anxiety and worry in predicting risk for later violence may be limited to self-report.
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