Developmental Psychopathology Lab Home

1. Pathways to Antisocial Behavior

1.a. Assessment Applications

1.b. Treatment Applications

2. Temperament and Parenting

3. Evidence-based Assessments

Tests and Measures


Contact Information






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University of New Orleans
Department of Psychology
Geology/Psychology Bldg Lakefront Campus
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148

Phone: (504) 280-6291
Fax: (504) 280-6049


















1. Major Lines of Research:
Developmental Pathways to Severe Antisocial and Aggressive Behavior

The research conducted by  Developmental Psychopathology Lab has largely  focused on understanding the different developmental pathways through which children develop severe conduct problems, aggression, and delinquent behavior.   This research operates from the basic developmental psychopathology assumption that the same outcome (e.g., antisocial behavior) can result from a number of different developmental processes.  The goal of this research is to understand these diverse pathways through which children may develop severe antisocial behavior and aggression and then to use this information to develop assessment  tools and to use this information to enhance preventive and treatment interventions for antisocial youth.  

This research has documented a group of youth, those with elevated levels of callous-unemotional (CU) traits, who seem to show a number of distinct causal processes related to their antisocial behavior and who show a particularly severe and aggressive pattern of antisocial behavior.  This research has guided the recent change in the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder to the criteria for Conduct Disorder to include the specifier “with Limited Prosocial Emotions” to designate those persons with the disorder who also show elevated CU traits. Representative publications are included below with PDF documentation when possible:


Frick, P.J., Ray, J.V., Thornton, J.C., & Kahn, R.E. (2014).  Can callous-unemotional traits enhance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of serious conduct problems in children and adolescents?  A comprehensive review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1-57.

Frick, P.J., Ray, J.V., Thornton, J.C., & Kahn, R.E. (2014).  A developmental psychopathology approach to understanding callous-unemotional traits in children and adolescents with serious conduct problems.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 532-548.

Kahn, R.E., Frick, P.J., Youngstrom, E.A., Youngstrom, J.K., Feeny, K.C., & Findling, R.L. (2013). Distinguishing primary and secondary variants of callous-unemotional traits among adolescents in a clinic-referred sample.  Psychological Assessment, 25. 966-978.

White, S.F., Frick, P.J., Lawing, K., & Bauer, D. (2013). Callous-unemotional traits and response to functional family therapy in adolescent offenders.  Behavioral Science and the Law, 31, 271-285.

Frick, P.J. & Nigg, J.T. (2012). Current issues in the diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 8, 77-107.

Kahn, R.E., Frick, P.J., Youngstrom, E., Findling, R.L., & Youngstrom, J.K.  (2012).  The effects of including a callous-unemotional specifier for the diagnosis of conduct disorder.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 271-282.

Kimonis, E.R., Frick, P.J., Cauffman, E., Goldweber, A., & Skeem, J.  (2012). Primary and secondary variants of juvenile psychopathy differ in emotional processing. Development and Psychopathology, 24, 1091-1103.

Lawing, K., Frick, P.J., & Cruise, K.R.  (2010). Differences in offending patterns between adolescent sex offenders high or low in callous-unemotional traits.  Psychological Assessment, 22, 298-305.

Frick, P.J., Cornell, A.H., Barry, C.T., Bodin, S.D., & Dane, H.A.  (2003).   Callous-unemotional traits and conduct problems in the prediction of conduct problem severity, aggression, and self-report of delinquency.   Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31, 457-470.

Frick, P.J., Cornell, A.H., Bodin, S.D., Dane, H.A.,  Barry, C.T., & Loney, B.R.   (2003).   Callous-Unemotional traits and developmental pathways to severe aggressive and antisocial behaviorDevelopmental Psychology, 39, 246-260. (pdf link)

Frick, P.J. Kimonis, E.R., Dandreaux, D.M., & Farrell, J.M.  (2003).  The four-year stability of psychopathic traits in non-referred youth.   Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 21, 713-736.



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Updated 12/2/2014