Relation between parenting stress and psychopathic traits among children

Academic Article


  • Parenting stress was examined as a correlate of psychopathic traits, specifically narcissism, callous/unemotional traits, and impulsivity, among school-aged children while controlling for the variance explained by aggressive behavior. Participants included 212 children ranging from 6 to 12 years of age (M = 8.3 years) who were admitted to an acute child psychiatric inpatient unit for treatment. Parents completed standardized measures of aggression (Child Behavior Checklist; CBCL), psychopathic traits (Antisocial Process Screening Device; APSD), and parenting stress (Parenting Stress Index; PSI) at the time of the child's admission. Multiple regression analyses revealed that high levels of the PSI dimension attachment difficulties were associated with high levels of narcissism and callous/unemotional traits among the children while statistically controlling for aggression. The PSI dimension role restriction was also found to be negatively related to narcissism. These findings suggest that specific aspects of parenting stress may be related to child psychopathic traits and might aid with conceptualizing and developing treatment approaches for childhood behavior problems. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fite PJ; Greening L; Stoppelbein L
  • Start Page

  • 239
  • End Page

  • 248
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 2