One in 100 children display psychopathic warning signs, psychiatrist says – Telegraph.co.uk

Children who don’t care about being punished could grow up to be psychopaths and one in 100 display the warning signs, a Kings College scientist has said. 

Professor Stephen Scott, from the Institute of Psychiatry, said that children who displayed “callous unemotional traits” were not properly provided for by the mental health system. 

He told BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme: “Anti-social behaviour in children that is persistent and outside the normal quantity is rather un-talked about because it’s rather shameful. 

“About five percent of children have a severe level of anti-social behaviour. But of those about a fifth – so fully one per cent of children – have these so-called callous unemotional traits.

“We don’t like using the word psychopath for under-18s but there is a high continuity to becoming so-called anti-social personality disorder with psychopathic traits.”

He said the condition was “rather unrecognised”, and was almost always inherited and not a result of poor upbringing or environment. 

“When we scan their brains we find that an area called the amygdala, which is where you acknowledge emotions and process them, is completely quiet and flat. 

“So they will understand what’s going on, unlike someone with autism, who doesn’t quite get the social signs, but they don’t care,” he said.

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