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Behavioural issues make kids anti-social

Behavioural issues make kids anti-social

Researcher have found that children who exhibited less fear and desire for social connection and who engaged less frequently in copycat behaviour called arbitrary imitation developed more callous-unemotional (CU) traits, which are known to lead to anti-social behaviour later.

A link between anti-social or aggressive behaviour and CU traits – characterised by lack of empathy, guilt, and reduced sensitivity to others' emotions – is already well known, according to previous study.

This translates to a child who is "less compassionate, doesn't care about breaking the rules, doesn't change a behaviour when they're told, 'If you do X, this bad thing will happen'," said a study researcher.

They're also more likely to be aggressive to get what they want because they don't fear the consequences. For the findings, the researchers used data from the Boston University Twin Project.

Analysis of the children's behaviours showed that less fearful children were more likely to develop callous-unemotional traits by the second. The researchers also found that harsh parenting intensified the fearlessness.

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