Have you ever as an adult watched a small child grow up to be a person psychopath cold-blooded? The word psychopath and child is rarely associated because it has a very contradictory nature. Children are often described with innocent words even though they are naughty, while psychopaths are considered to be bad traits. Then, are there any psychopathic characteristics in children that can be seen by adults, especially their parents?
Psychopathic characteristics in children
Even though it sounds hard to believe, even children can behave rudely and cruelly as seen in adults. They may not show cruelty all the time, but apparently there are some psychopathic characteristics that you can see in children.
Reporting from the dictionary American Psychological Association, psychopath is a term for people who suffer from antisocial personality disorders.
This condition is quite serious because it can be linked to dangerous behavior. However, the use of the word psychopath is often misunderstood because it is not uncommon to be described as a mass murderer in films. In fact, this is not always the case.
So, what about the children? According to studies from Italian Journal of Pediatrics, children who do not show emotions are often considered to have personality disorders.
Then, during their teenage years, they can also be diagnosed with behavioral disorders and involve habits that violate the rights of others and ignore the rules.
The following are some of the characteristics of psychopaths seen in children from an early age:
Toddler and pre-school children (playgroup or kindergarten)
Who would have thought that toddlers and preschoolers could show the characteristics of a psychopath? Not only adults, toddlers and pre-school children can show signs antisocial personality disorder that can develop.
This is proven through research from the journal Developmental Psychology. In the study, researchers collected data from 731 two-year-old children and their mothers. Hundreds of children were studied until they were nine years old.
The researchers tried to focus on the nature of what children called behavior Callous-Unemotional (CU) or pre-psychopathic traits.
This behavior is seen based on empathy, low guilt, and sympathy for others. The limitation of this study is that the participants did not represent all socioeconomic classes because they came from middle to lower income families and had several risk factors.
During the research, the research team asked the participants' parents, other parents and teachers to assess the child by the following trait tendencies, namely:
- children do not feel guilty after behaving badly
- punishment does not change or improve the child's behavior
- selfish child and don't want to share with others
- children like to lie
- children are cunning to others, including their own parents
As a result, developing pre-psychopathic (DC) features are found more often in three-year-old children. They more often show the most behavioral problems and tend to be associated with psychopathy in childhood.
These findings may be a reference and help for parents to detect whether the psychopathic nature of their child is shown so that it can be prevented as they grow up.
Older children (elementary school to teenager)
Children who exhibit the same psychopathic characteristics as adults show in their daily lives. These signs include being ignorant of the feelings of others and not feeling sorry when making mistakes.
Although there are no specific tests that show whether a child is a psychopath or not, at least a psychologist has several assessments to help measure a child's symptoms.
One of the most common judgments is Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI). This test requires children to undergo examination and answer questions about themselves.
This aims to measure nature and personality of children which may be related to psychopathic characteristics, such as:
- arrogant or arrogant
- have no feelings
- show no mercy
- impulsive and like looking for sensations
- not responsible
In addition, most children and adolescents who fall into the category of naughty traits prefer to join their peers who behave the same. As a result, they do not rarely do juvenile delinquency not infrequently when they do juvenile delinquency they do it in groups.
However, it should be remembered that children with psychopathic characteristics tend to be cautious and are rarely seen violating the law. They prefer to be the 'leader' of the group and influence other group members to engage in antisocial behavior.
Will the psychopathic character disappear by itself?
The psychopathic traits shown by children may initially seem natural, so most parents choose to ignore them.
In fact, some experts argue that the traits they exhibit will remain stable with age. That is, they will grow up with the same nature.
Meanwhile, there are some researchers who show that psychopathic signs will be more visible in adolescence. For example, some teenagers often seek sensation and often act instinctively, but this condition can be related developmental problems, not always a psychopathic nature.
Therefore, early detection of the nature of psychopaths in children is the best step because it requires treatment so that his condition improves.
The good news, most children and toddlers are not psychopaths even though they show similar characteristics, such as ignorance or evil at one time. However, children who are psychopathic are cruel and not always emotional.
If you find a child's nature that is not fair and is not appropriate for children his age, may seek help from child psychologist is the best choice.