Childhood psychopathy is a mental health problem that affects thousands of boys and girls around the world. In general terms, these children present a marked lack of empathy and tolerance with respect to the environment that surrounds them. In this sense, understanding the reasons that lead a child to have behaviors that are not socially accepted is important to guarantee early detection of the problem and evaluate possible intervention methods. The actions of children that harm others who do not show feelings of regret and/or ideas of rewarding the damage caused have generated the interest of many researchers who have focused on the subject.
In this Psychologyorg article, we will talk about childhood psychopathy: symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Table of Contents
What is child psychopathy?
Childhood psychopathy is a mental health disorder that can manifest itself during childhood. In general terms, child psychopathy consists of repetitive patterns of antisocial behaviors commanded by manipulation and a lack of empathy in interpersonal relationships. Although there is no clear delimitation of the problem, it is possible to place childhood psychopathy within the antisocial personality disorder the DSM-V addresses.
- Confidence of norms.
- intents to dominate a situation for personal payment and harm to others.
- impulsiveness _
- Lack of guilt.
- Deterioration of social, work, and family relationships.
- The modification cannot be explained by the ingestion of medications and/or toxic components.
It should be noted that this diagnosis is made after 15 years of age. However, they share some features with childhood psychopathy.
Symptoms of child psychopathy
The manifestations of childhood psychopathy can be detected by observing behaviors, and emotions, and interpreting thoughts. In this section, we will discuss the main symptoms:
- Lack of empathy.
- feelings of inferiority
- Intermittent social relationships.
- Violent antisocial behaviors with people and animals.
- Low school performance.
- Lack of guilt.
Causes of child psychopathy
There are several reasons that explain childhood psychopathy. Specifically, this clinical picture is determined by a sum of genetic, environmental, and social factors that occur in the life of a boy or girl.
Main causes of child psychopathy:
- Genetic factors: Genetic inheritance by parents diagnosed with this mental health disorder may predispose them to suffer the same symptoms. It should be noted that there are alterations in the neuronal connections that occur in the central nervous system, which affects the processing of stimuli from abroad.
- Environmental factors: childhood traumatic experiences influence personality development. Here it can be mentioned that sexual abuse, verbal and/or physical violence, loss of loved ones, prohibitions, and other situations difficult to overcome play a fundamental role for the person.
- Social factors: the environment that surrounds the person can influence the strengthening of antisocial behaviors. This can be fostered by hostile acts of a group of people, robberies, and violence, among others.
Treatment of child psychopathy
Childhood psychopathy can be treated through different approaches that have proven to be highly efficient and effective in these cases. Child psychopathy treatments include:
First of all, psychological therapy helps the child to regulate his impulses, control his actions and establish new habits in the relationship with other people. Likewise, work on communication and empathy is essential in order to boost socially accepted behaviors.
In general terms, the best-known brief approach is called cognitive behavioral therapy, which addresses the person’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors by implementing strategies that allow for a better quality of life. On the other hand, psychoanalysis is the most effective long-term therapy since it tries to find out the origin of the child’s conflicts in order to face life status in a more pleasant way.
On the other hand, there are drugs that regulate anxiety and impulsivity through changes in brain function. However, this indication should always be supervised by a mental health professional.
Establishing clear limits
Child psychopathy must be addressed through the implementation of clear prohibitions that have direct consequences on the child’s actions. This is useful for the person to be aware of her thoughts and to evaluate other modalities.
Understand the meaning of actions
Sometimes children try to express their internal conflicts through actions that are harmful to the environment. However, this does not mean that you have a specific desire to do it, but that they are trying to get the attention of relatives. For this reason, talking deeply and investigating the reasons is essential to avoid problems in the future.
This article is merely informative, at Psychologyorg we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We suggest you go to a psychologist to treat your specific case.