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The Relationship Between Social Functioning and Resilience in Young People with Conduct Problems and Callous-Unemotional Traits.

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posted on 06.08.2021, 00:53 by Heesterman, Caitlin

Resilience is the dynamic process of achieving positive outcomes in the presence of risk or difficulties. For young people, greater social functioning tends to increase resilience as individuals benefit from the support of family, peers and any teachers or adults around them. Additionally, these relationships provide young people an opportunity to practice skills which might also contribute to better outcomes (e.g., learning how to collaborate effectively). The current study investigated how the association between resilience and each of peer relationships, collaboration, perspective taking, empathic concern and prosocial behaviour was different across four groups of adolescent participants with high and low callous-unemotional (CU) traits and/or conduct problems (CP). Individuals varying on CU and CP tend to have reduced social functioning, reduced resilience and be at risk for worse long-term outcomes. A multiple regression analysis showed that as these social functioning variables increased, so did resilience for all groups other than those high on CP alone. Significant predictors within the model varied depending on whether individuals were high on both, one or neither of CU and CP. Collaboration, prosocial behaviour and peer relationships were all significant predictors of resilience for individuals low on both difficulties, whereas collaboration was the only significant predictor those only high on callous-unemotional traits. Prosocial behaviour was the only significant predictor for those high on both difficulties. These results suggest the importance of considering how these difficulties interact as greater resilience might be fostered in different ways depending on the unique pattern individuals exhibit of callous-unemotional traits and conduct problems.  


Advisor 1

Eisenbarth, Hedwig

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Forensic Psychology

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology