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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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150. Exploring the Relationship Between Callousness, Social Problems, and Internalizing Psychopathology in Children

Although callousness has been widely examined with regard to externalizing psychopathology, emerging findings suggest its importance for also explicating developmental processes associated with internalizing forms of psychopathology. While the exact relationship between callousness and internalizing psychopathology is not yet clear, social problems, likely interacting with callousness, are clearly associated with internalizing forms of psychopathology. Within a sample of 249 5-10-year-olds (Mage = 7.42 +/- 3.12; 59% female), the current study thus considered the way in which callousness and social problems, uniquely and interactively, contributed to both broad internalizing and internalizing subdimensions. Results showed that callousness and social problems were positively associated with both broad internalizing symptoms as well as anxious/depressed and withdrawn/depressed subdimensions. Social problems further moderated the effect of callousness on broad internalizing symptoms, such that higher levels of callousness along with increased social problems predicted greater internalizing psychopathology than callousness and average social problems. When internalizing subdimensions were considered, whereas a similar interaction uniquely explained withdrawn/depressed symptoms, no significant interaction emerged in the explanation of anxious/depressed symptoms. All told, these findings suggest that the combination of callousness and social problems may confer an increased risk for the development of internalizing symptomatology, specifically withdrawn/depressed symptoms.

Kaitlyn Tobin
Georgia State University

Isabella Palumbo
Georgia State University

Robert Latzman
Georgia State University


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