Parenting practices moderate the link between attention to the eyes and callous unemotional traits in children with Disruptive Behavior Disorder: An eye-tracking study

Valentina Levantini, Pietro Muratori, Sara Calderoni, Emanuela Inguaggiato, Gabriele Masi, Annarita Milone, Alessandro Tonacci, Lucia Billeci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Callous-unemotional (CU) traits are associated with gaze pattern deficits in youths, though it has not yet been explored if environmental factors could influence this relationship. Since parenting can influence both CU traits and children's emotion processing, the current study sought to test whether parenting moderated the relation between gaze pattern deficits and CU traits in a sample of children with Disruptive Behavior Disorder. The sample included 92 boys (aged 7–12 years) with Conduct Disorder (N = 12) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (N = 80). All children completed a task, during which they were presented with 24 images depicting happy, sad, fearful, disgusted, angry, and neutral facial expressions. Gaze pattern has been recorded throughout the task with an eye-tracker. Positive parenting moderated the association between CU traits and first fixation duration to the eyes of facial expressions depicting negative emotions. Negative parenting moderated the association between CU traits and fixation count and fixation duration to the eyes of negative emotions. Negative parenting along with reduced attention to emotional cues (i.e., eyes) may identify a group of youths with Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnosis at risk for severe outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Callous unemotional traits
  • Conduct disorder
  • Eye gaze
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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