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The present study examined empathy deficits in toddlerhood (age 14 to 36 months) as predictors of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) symptoms and psychopathy measured by the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy scale (Levenson, Kiehl, & Fitzpatrick, 1995) in adulthood (age 23 years) in 956 individuals from the Colorado Longitudinal Twin Study. Consistent with the hypothesis that antisocial behavior is associated with “active” rather than “passive” empathy deficits, early disregard for others, not lack of concern for others, predicted later ASPD symptoms. Early disregard for others was also significantly associated with factor 1 of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, which includes items assessing interpersonal and affective deficits, but not with factor 2, which includes items assessing impulsivity and poor behavioral control. The association between early disregard for others and psychopathy factor 2 was near zero after controlling for the shared variance between psychopathy factors 1 and 2. These results suggest that there is a propensity toward adulthood ASPD symptoms and psychopathy factor 1 that can be assessed early in development, which may help identify individuals most at risk for stable antisocial outcomes.
This study examined whether executive functions (EFs) might be common features of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems across development. We examined relations between three EF latent variables (a common EF factor and factors specific to updating working memory and shifting sets), constructed from nine laboratory tasks administered at age 17, to latent growth intercept (capturing stability) and slope (capturing change) factors of teacher- and parent-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors in 885 individual twins aged 7 to 16 years. We then estimated the proportion of intercept–intercept and slope–slope correlations predicted by EF as well as the association between EFs and a common psychopathology factor (P factor) estimated from all 9 years of internalizing and externalizing measures. Common EF was negatively associated with the intercepts of teacher-rated internalizing and externalizing behavior in males, and explained 32% of their covariance; in the P factor model, common EF was associated with the P factor in males. Shifting-specific was positively associated with the externalizing slope across sex. EFs did not explain covariation between parent-rated behaviors. These results suggest that EFs are associated with stable problem behavior variation, explain small proportions of covariance, and are a risk factor that that may depend on gender.
Caplan & Waters's arguments for separate
working memory subsystems for “interpretive” and
“post-interpretive” comprehension processes do not
have a solid empirical basis. The likely involvement of a separate
phonological loop makes their memory-load data irrelevant to
theory evaluation, and the lack of statistical power from nonoptimal
experimental designs and analyses unfairly reduces the chances of
detecting the relevant interactions.
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