An evaluation of a child-management training program for parents reveals that four to eight year-old boys who have a "callous-unemotional" temperament are less responsive to discipline, such as time-out, compared to children without these traits. Children with a CU-temperament tend to show a lack of empathy and guilt about the impact of their actions on others, according to the study's co-author, UNSW psychologist Dr David Hawes.
"Behavioural problems are often more extreme among children who have CU traits, which can include deliberate or predatory aggression, deliberate rule-breaking, stealing, lying and disobedience," says Dr Hawes."They exhibit a low level of emotionality and are unresponsive to emotions in others, especially when it comes to aggression. The finding means that these children may require different approaches to discipline than those that work for most children," Dr Hawes says.
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