Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Marsee, Monica

Second Advisor

Frick, Paul

Third Advisor

Scaramella, Laura


This study sought to explore whether PTSD symptoms in detained adolescents were differentially related to high and low patterns of emotional reactivity, as determined based on callous-unemotional (CU) traits and emotion dysregulation. Analyses revealed four distinct groups based on these criteria: a low/no trauma control group with few PTSD symptoms, and three groups whose PTSD symptoms were distinguished by symptoms of emotional numbing. The study sought to determine whether these profiles were related to distinct patterns of aggression and delinquency. Results revealed that the low/no PTSD symptom group exhibited the least aggression and delinquency. Further, results indicated that higher CU traits and violent offending are associated with a combined PTSD symptom profile. Results suggest a relationship between PTSD symptoms, delinquency, aggression, and CU traits. Findings provide support for the existence of a secondary variant of CU youth who are more emotionally dysregulated and prone to both arousal and emotional detachment.


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