Over the past 10 years, researchers in Florida have been studying the psychological traits of what they call Callous- unemotional children, who exhibit the kind of personality traits that are usually found in adult psychopaths.  Researchers at Florida International University have been identifying these traits, which include an absence of remorse or empathy among children.  These children could be at a higher risk of developing psychopathic traits as adults.

The researchers have been working with a combination of examinations and scales, including the Child Psychopathy Scale and the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits to measure and identify child behaviors that are closely linked to adult psychopathy. 

Psychopathy is defined as a personality disorder in which an individual suffers from a complete disregard for societal roles.  Psychopaths are generally believed to lack any empathy or sympathy for others, and are widely seen as being aggressive, impulsive, arrogant and irresponsible.  Often, persons who have been convicted of sexually deviant crimes are found to demonstrate personality traits that correspond with psychopathy.

That’s why San Diego criminal Defense attorneys find it very intriguing that researchers are now able to identify such traits even in children.  These studies are even more important, because currently there are no psychopathy tests to identify these traits in children. 

A growing body of research seems to indicate that psychopathy is a neurological condition that can be identified in young children.  Certain psychological traits or callous-unemotional traits are crucial to the diagnosis of psychopathy.  Just as with adult psychopaths, the researchers say that a child who has psychopathic traits does not care what other people say about him.  Identifying such traits is also believed to be key to distinguishing children who are just impulsive and hard to control, from budding psychopaths.