Social problem solving, conduct problems, and callous-unemotional traits in children

Daniel A. Waschbusch, Trudi M. Walsh, Brendan F. Andrade, Sara King, Normand J. Carrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This study examined the association between social problem solving, conduct problems (CP), and callous-unemotional (CU) traits in elementary age children. Participants were 53 children (40 boys and 13 girls) aged 7-12 years. Social problem solving was evaluated using the Social Problem Solving Test-Revised, which requires children to produce solutions to eight hypothetical social problems, including five problems involving acquiring a desired object and three problems gaining access to a peer. Regression analyses showed that greater frequency of CP symptoms was associated with producing less flexible, relevant, and prosocial solutions and more overtly aggressive solutions. However, this pattern was present only when CU traits were low. Results add to a growing body of literature demonstrating that CU traits are an important moderator of CP in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-305
Number of pages13
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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