Psychopathic features moderate the relationship between harsh and inconsistent parental discipline and adolescent antisocial behavior.
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Although the quality of parenting predicts externalizing behavior problems generally, ineffective parenting may be less relevant to explaining the behavior problems of children high in callous-unemotional traits. This study tested the potential moderating role of psychopathic features among juvenile offenders (n = 76). Youths were administered the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV), a measure of parental discipline, and an index of antisocial conduct. Results indicated an interaction similar to earlier studies: Harsh and inconsistent discipline predicted antisocial behavior, but only among those low on the affective deficit dimension of the PCL:YV. Interpersonal features also moderated the association between parenting and antisocial behavior, but the form of these two interactions was very dissimilar, supporting the distinction between affective and interpersonal features as separable dimensions with unique correlates.