Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Michelle Martel


Callous – unemotional (CU) traits are a key factor in understanding the persistence and severity of conduct problems. The factor structure of CU traits has been primarily examined through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in childhood and adolescent samples, yet little research has examined the structure of CU traits in preschool. Further, current CFA models have yielded poor – to – marginally acceptable fit, suggesting the need for a more nuanced approach in understanding the structure of CU traits in early childhood using an interitem approach (i.e., network analysis). Within a sample of 109 preschool children (M age = 4.77, SD = 1.10), CFA results supported a two – factor structure of the ICU, comprised of “callous” and “uncaring” factors. Results of the network analysis identified seems cold and uncaring as most central to the CU network. Results from the CFA demonstrated that CU traits can be assessed in preschool children using 12 of the original 24 items from the ICU, which is consistent with a small portion of research. Further, results of the network analysis suggested that seems cold and uncaring may be useful in screening for psychopathic traits in preschool children. Clinical implications, including ICU measure refinement, are explored.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)