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Conduct disorder - Risk factors

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A numbe of risk factors have been proposed as increasing the risk of conduct disorder


Lack of empathy

Some scholars have proposed that lack of empathy and empathic concern (callous disregard for the welfare of others) is an important risk factor for conduct disorder.[1] [2]

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Developmental psychologists and social neuroscientists have hypothesized that empathy and sympathetic concern for others are essential factors inhibiting aggression toward others.[3] [4]

The propensity for aggressive behavior has been hypothesized to reflect a blunted empathic response to the suffering of others.[5] Such a lack of empathy in aggressive individuals may be a consequence of a failure to be aroused by the distress of others.[6] Similarly, it has been suggested that aggressive behavior arises from abnormal processing of affective information, resulting in a deficiency in experiencing fear, empathy, and guilt, which in normally developing individuals inhibits the acting out of violent impulses.[7]


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