Presentation Title

The Moderating Role of Anxiety on the Relationship Between CU Traits and Emotion Regulation

Project Collaborators

Amanda Falcon (Graduate Student Mentor)

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Primary psychopathy is characterized by CU traits and low to average levels of anxiety, while secondary psychopathy is characterized by CU traits and high levels of anxiety. Previous studies have found that anxiety moderates the association between psychopathy and a number of theoretically important variables. For example, the relationship between CU traits and self-reports of affective empathy is not moderated by anxiety. However, CU traits are negatively associated with self-reports of cognitive empathy at high levels of anxiety and positively associated with self-reports of cognitive empathy at low levels of anxiety.

Previous studies have not explored the moderating effect of anxiety on the relationship between CU traits and emotion regulation, a construct associated with aggression and psychopathologies like depression and anxiety. In the present study, we examined the relationship between emotion regulation, anxiety, and callous-unemotional traits by testing two moderation models. In the first, we examined whether the relationship between emotion regulation and anxiety was moderated by the presence of CU traits. In the second, we tested whether the relationship between CU traits and emotion regulation was moderated by anxiety symptoms. Our results indicated that emotion regulation skills were more negatively associated with measures of anxiety among individuals with high CU traits than among those with low CU traits. Within our second model, we found that CU did significantly predict poorer emotion regulation. However, this relationship was not significantly moderated by symptoms of anxiety. These results suggest that the presence of anxiety among those with CU traits is influenced by emotion regulation capacity. Differences in emotion regulation may contribute to the varying levels of anxiety among individuals with primary versus secondary psychopathy.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Timothy Stickle

Graduate Student Mentors

Amanda Falcon

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Psychological Science

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Health Sciences

Tertiary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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The Moderating Role of Anxiety on the Relationship Between CU Traits and Emotion Regulation

Primary psychopathy is characterized by CU traits and low to average levels of anxiety, while secondary psychopathy is characterized by CU traits and high levels of anxiety. Previous studies have found that anxiety moderates the association between psychopathy and a number of theoretically important variables. For example, the relationship between CU traits and self-reports of affective empathy is not moderated by anxiety. However, CU traits are negatively associated with self-reports of cognitive empathy at high levels of anxiety and positively associated with self-reports of cognitive empathy at low levels of anxiety.

Previous studies have not explored the moderating effect of anxiety on the relationship between CU traits and emotion regulation, a construct associated with aggression and psychopathologies like depression and anxiety. In the present study, we examined the relationship between emotion regulation, anxiety, and callous-unemotional traits by testing two moderation models. In the first, we examined whether the relationship between emotion regulation and anxiety was moderated by the presence of CU traits. In the second, we tested whether the relationship between CU traits and emotion regulation was moderated by anxiety symptoms. Our results indicated that emotion regulation skills were more negatively associated with measures of anxiety among individuals with high CU traits than among those with low CU traits. Within our second model, we found that CU did significantly predict poorer emotion regulation. However, this relationship was not significantly moderated by symptoms of anxiety. These results suggest that the presence of anxiety among those with CU traits is influenced by emotion regulation capacity. Differences in emotion regulation may contribute to the varying levels of anxiety among individuals with primary versus secondary psychopathy.