Positive and negative parenting in conduct disorder with high versus low levels of callous-unemotional traits

Ruth Pauli, Peter Tino, Jack C. Rogers, Rosalind Baker, Roberta Clanton, Philippa Birch, Abigail Brown, Gemma Daniel, Lisandra Ferreira, Liam Grisley, Gregor Kohls, Sarah Baumann, Anka Bernhard, Anne Martinelli, Katharina Ackermann, Helen Lazaratou, Foteini Tsiakoulia, Panagiota Bali, Helena Oldenhof, Lucres JansenAreti Smaragdi, Karen Gonzalez-Madruga, Miguel Angel Gonzalez-Torres, Maider Gonzalez De Artaza-Lavesa, Martin Steppan, Noortje Vriends, Aitana Bigorra, Reka Siklosi, Sreejita Ghosh, Kerstin Bunte, Roberta Dochnal, Amaia Hervas, Christina Stadler, Aranzazu Fernandez-Rivas, Graeme Fairchild, Arne Popma, DImitris DIkeos, Kerstin Konrad, Beate Herpertz-Dahlmann, Christine M. Freitag, Pia Rotshtein, Stephane A. De Brito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Less is known about the relationship between conduct disorder (CD), callous-unemotional (CU) traits, and positive and negative parenting in youth compared to early childhood. We combined traditional univariate analyses with a novel machine learning classifier (Angle-based Generalized Matrix Learning Vector Quantization) to classify youth (N = 756; 9-18 years) into typically developing (TD) or CD groups with or without elevated CU traits (CD/HCU, CD/LCU, respectively) using youth- and parent-reports of parenting behavior. At the group level, both CD/HCU and CD/LCU were associated with high negative and low positive parenting relative to TD. However, only positive parenting differed between the CD/HCU and CD/LCU groups. In classification analyses, performance was best when distinguishing CD/HCU from TD groups and poorest when distinguishing CD/HCU from CD/LCU groups. Positive and negative parenting were both relevant when distinguishing CD/HCU from TD, negative parenting was most relevant when distinguishing between CD/LCU and TD, and positive parenting was most relevant when distinguishing CD/HCU from CD/LCU groups. These findings suggest that while positive parenting distinguishes between CD/HCU and CD/LCU, negative parenting is associated with both CD subtypes. These results highlight the importance of considering multiple parenting behaviors in CD with varying levels of CU traits in late childhood/adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-991
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2020.


  • angle-based generalized matrix learning vector quantization
  • callous-unemotional traits
  • conduct disorder
  • machine learning
  • parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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