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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1996 Apr;24(2):223-40.

Reward dominance: associations with anxiety, conduct problems, and psychopathy in children.

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Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa 35487, USA.


The associations between children's behavior and their performance on a task with a steadily increasing ratio of punished to rewarded responses was investigated in a group of clinic-referred (n = 92) and normal control (n = 40) children between the ages of 6 and 13. Clinic-referred children with an anxiety disorder played significantly fewer trials than clinic-referred children without an anxiety disorder but the response style of the anxious children did not differ from that of a normal control group. Children with severe conduct problems who had no anxiety disorder played more trials than (a) children with severe conduct problems and a comorbid anxiety disorder, (b) nonanxious children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and (c) children in the normal control group. The strongest evidence for the reward dominant response style was for nonanxious subjects with elevations on a measure of psychopathic features, irrespective of whether they also had conduct problems and irrespective of whether they were clinic-referred.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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