Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



The current study investigated the social correlates of conduct problems (CP) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits using peer nominations. Participants (n = 289), drawn from a sample of 3rd, 6th, and 8thgraders (Mage = 11.47 years; SD = 2.26), were asked to identify peers who they believed fit a number of different characteristics, in addition to individuals who they liked most and liked least. We also obtained self-, parent-, and teacher-reports of children’s behaviors. Analyses extracted three primary dimensions from peer nominations, including, indicators of being mean and cold (Mean/Cold), of being aloof and untrustworthy (Not Nice), and being a leader and manipulative (Dominant/Manipulative). Results indicated that both CP and CU traits were associated with peer rejection. Further both CP and CU traits were associated with Mean/Cold and Not Nice peer nominations, whereas only CP was associated with Dominant/Manipulative nominations. Finally, bootstrap mediation analyses revealed that both the Mean/Cold and Not Nice peer dimensions accounted for a large portion of the association between CP and peer rejection and between CU traits and peer rejection. Taken together, the findings from the current study offer potential explanations for why youth with CP and CU traits are disliked by their peers, including being viewed as mean, aloof, untrustworthy, and not nice.

Committee Chair

Frick, Paul