Much is known about the role of the family in pathways to antisocial behaviour, with established models emphasising the various dimensions of parenting and family dysfunction that are known to amplify and transform conduct problems across child and adolescent development. Far less is known about the mechanisms through which various family processes operate on child outcomes in distinct developmental periods, or how individual differences associated with child temperament contribute to this risk.
Research into a form of temperament comprising callous and unemotional (CU) traits (i.e., lack of guilt and empathy) has provided compelling evidence regarding the interplay between biology and family environment in children at risk for conduct problems. In addition, research examining interventions for child conduct problems has indicated that CU traits have clinical utility in relation to prognosis and treatment planning. Recent findings will be discussed.