Antisocial behavior is harmful, financially costly to society, and hard to treat. Callous-unemotional (CU) traits, which predict greater risk for antisocial behavior, are defined in theoretical and diagnostic models as representing low empathy, guilt, and prosociality. However, no meta-analytic reviews have systematically integrated the findings of studies that have reported associations between measures of CU traits and empathy, guilt, or prosociality, or potential moderators of these associations, including gender, age, severity of antisocial behavior, and informant (i.e., self or other reports of measures). To address this gap in the literature, we conducted three separate meta-analyses exploring the association between CU traits and empathy, guilt, and prosociality. The findings establish that CU traits are moderately-to-strongly correlated with the presence of callous (low empathy), uncaring (low prosociality), and remorseless (low guilt) behaviors.
Relevant peer-reviewed publications
- Shakiba, N., Perlstein, S., Powell, T., Rodriguez, Y., Waller, R.,^ & Wagner, N.J.^ (2022). Prospective associations between pandemic-related adversity, harsh parenting, and the development of prosociality across middle- to late-childhood. Developmental Psychology, in press
- Plate, R.C., Jones, C., Steinberg, J., Daley, G., Zhao, S., & Waller, R.^ (2022). Alignment of Knowing Versus Feeling the Emotion in Music During Middle-Childhood. In Culbertson, J., Perfors, A., Rabagliati, H., & Ramenzoni, V. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
- Raine, A., Chen, F.R., & Waller, R. (2022). The Cognitive, Affective and Somatic Empathy Scales for Adults. Personality And Individual Differences, 185, 111238
- Waller, R., Wagner, N.J., Barstead, M.G., Subar, A., Petersen, J.L., Hyde, J.S., & Hyde, L.W. (2020). A Meta-Analysis of the Associations between Callous-Unemotional Traits and Empathy, Prosociality, and Guilt. Clinical Psychology Review, 75, 101809