Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Frick, Paul

Second Advisor

Laird, Bobby

Third Advisor

Marsee, Monica

Fourth Advisor

Lamm, Cornelia

Fifth Advisor

Ray, James


Although research has demonstrated that some adults with psychopathic traits show better executive functioning and higher intelligence that make them “successful”, there has been very minimal research testing whether similar distinctions can be made in samples of youth with elevated CU traits. Utilizing a sample of 1216 male adolescent first-time offenders, the current study examined whether executive functioning, intelligence and/or impulse control would moderate the relationship between CU traits and antisocial outcomes. The current study also examined whether CU traits were more strongly associated with a number of positive adjustment indicators at higher levels of the moderators. Results did not support successful psychopathy conceptualizations for youth with CU traits. Unlike findings in adult psychopathy research, adolescents high on CU traits who were also of higher intelligence engaged in more aggressive acts. The current findings also indicated that none of the proposed moderators influenced the relationship between CU traits and the positive adjustment indicators.


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