By | August 17, 2007 27 Comments

New study finds conduct disordered boys are just like their fathers

Although fearlessness is not part of the formal definition of psychopathy or DSM IV antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), it is widely recognized that this temperamental attribute is part of these disorders as well as their childhood precursors, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Thankfully, not all fearless individuals are sociopaths but it appears that fearlessness is present in varying degrees in everyone with these disorders. (Interestingly some sociopaths do show anxiety. The exact relationship between anxiety and fearlessness is not completely understood.)

Fearlessness is a good trait to study because the trait reflects the function of specific brain regions that are linked to a person’s ability to learn from punishment. The trait is also influenced by genetics. In addition to psychological measures, fearlessness can be assessed using physiological measures. The most universal finding related to fearlessness and genetic risk for sociopathy is that children at risk have low heart rates. Low heart rate has been documented in groups of at-risk children from six different countries and in children as young as 3 years of age.

It appears that the psychological trait of fearlessness has its roots in the physiological trait of “autonomic under-arousal.” This means that the sympathetic nervous system of fearless individuals is under-active at rest and does not readily respond to cues of danger. The sympathetic nervous system is under the control of a part of the brain thought to be abnormal in sociopaths. That is the amygdala-prefrontal cortex circuit.

In a recently published study, Similar autonomic responsivity in boys with conduct disorder and their fathers (J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007 Apr;46(4):535-44), researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Rostock University, Rostock, Germany, studied 44 conduct disordered boys and their fathers. They compared them to 36 “healthy controls” and their fathers. The boys were between 8 and 13 years of age.

The researchers examined sympathetic nervous system activity as measured by skin conductance. They also measured personality characteristics in fathers. Fathers of CD boys were “more aggressive, hostile, and impulsive” than the fathers of the non-disordered boys. The researchers showed the fathers and sons pictures that usually elicit emotional responses from people. CD boys and their fathers showed significantly less emotional responses to the pictures. They also had little physiological response to the pictures compared to the control group. “Psychophysiological measurements were highly correlated between fathers and sons.”

The researchers conclude their abstract with this statement: “High father-son correlations in psychophysiological measures raise the question of whether autonomic abnormalities may constitute a biological mediator through which the disposition for antisocial behavior is transmitted within families.” In making this statement, they are not asserting a purely genetic basis for the trait. A father’s behavior toward his son could also influence this trait since these pairs were in contact or lived together.

In my opinion there is overwhelming evidence that low sympathetic activity and accompanying fearlessness are present very early on in developing sociopaths. Furthermore, the caregivers of fearless kids know their kids are fearless usually by age 2. The most important question is, what can we do to help fearless children develop guilt and empathy so that they do not develop CD or ODD?

There are no studies comparing children at risk who have or have not had contact with their sociopathic parent(s). There are, however, many studies that suggest that fearless children require special parenting. Fearless children who do well have an especially warm and loving relationship with at least one caregiver. A warm loving relationship with that caregiver predicts conscience formation in fearless children. Researchers have called this “the alternative pathway” to conscience. Since they do not readily experience guilt, fearless people rely on empathy for conscience. Empathy develops from early affectionate experiences.

Many at-risk children are in triple jeopardy. They have the genes from one antisocial parent, the environmental exposure to that parent AND another parent who has major depression. This depression is usually aggravated by having to deal with the sociopathic partner. Depression in a mother predicts antisocial disorders in children with sociopathic fathers. I believe the reason is that a mother battling untreated depression has a difficult time relating to a child in a way that promotes enthusiasm for loving and the development of empathy.

There are many things that people co-parenting with a sociopath, or raising an at-risk child, cannot control, starting with genetics. Court ordered visitation is a big problem for many kids and co-parents. There is, however, one thing these parents can control, that is their own loving relationship with the child. For more on how to overcome your child’s genetic connection to sociopathy, addiction and ADHD, read Just Like His Father?

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My son is 14 mos. old. At 13 months he was riding the carousel with me and became freightened and tried to get off the horse.
This a is a good sign right?


when my ex-s/p/n’s son started school, they had to go in all the time to discuss the child’s aggressive and bullying behavior. like father. like son.

Ox Drover

Dear Liane,

This is a great article and some interesting research. Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of the “adoption syndrome” today shows that many children who are adopted by “good parents” are higher in CD and ADHD ODD than the “general population.”

In my limited experience with young children who were dx with CD, ODD and/or ADHD (at least 2 of the 3) it seemed to me than the majority of them in the population I was exposed to were adopted kids.

As you know, my oldest biological son C is very ADHD but has (if anything) TOO much conscience, but my psychopathic son is in no way “hyperactive” at all. Though my son C (ADHD) was very “fearless” as far as his activity, he was not aggressive to other children, not “mean” at all, and though he kept me on my toes as a parent, he was not disobedient or oppositional at all. I saw evidence of care giving, attachment and loving in him as early as age two when he was comforting his younger baby brother by notifying me the baby was unhappy, or handing him his “paci” or covering him up if the blanket was kicked off.

By age three he had taken on the role of “protector” of his toddler brother’s safety and entertaining the “baby” by actually distracting him from things the older child knew were “no, nos” The tenderness with which my older son (ADHD) did this was remarkable to me and others who observed it at the time they were toddlers.

When my older (ADHD) son was tested at the Uof ARK for Medical sciences at age 7, he was deemed “one of THE MOST hyperactive children we have seen.” they advised putting him on Ritalin, and I gave it a two week trial, which rendered him a zombie, took him off of it and put him on the Feingold diet for Hyperactivity (and boy was THAT a difficult thing even for a stay at home mom!) but I saw good results from the diet and my ADHD son, who is very bright, did well academically for the first two years in public school. After that, I put him in private school or home schooled him. He has a college degree now and functions very well on the job and with his co-workers and others in the community. He has a good moral compass and is kind and compassionate, and very giving.

To me, comparing the kids who are ADHD without ODD or CD to my son who was VERY ADHD but without the definance or conduct disorder is like “apples and oranges” in the way the children behaved. The ones with ADHD and CD or ODD did actually SEEM “driven to do evil” and were VERY SCARY children, even as young as 6 or 8. They were like little whirling dervishes hell bent on finding something to do that they KNEW you would find “bad” but they did it with a GLEE and a definat look in their eyes that would turn your blood cold.

Dear Banana, I wouldn’t worry about your child at this young age in whether or not he shows “fear”—all babies show fear sometimes of new things, and new people, and these things are normal maturation stages they go through. Just love your baby and give him all your attention and care—that’s what every baby needs at this young age. As Dr. Leedom said, at least ONE good and connected parent who bonds with that child is what EVERY child needs in order to connect them to the human race. I wouldn’t start “worrying” about him yet or trying to “see” some major thing in every episode of his behavior at such a young age. He has already got ONE thing that is wonderful for him, YOU–a caring and concerned and giviing mother!!!! (((hugs))))

Elizabeth Conley

I know virtually fearless children who have grown up to be exceptionally moral, empathetic, honorable people.

Bond with the child, and it will be OK. Fail to bond with the child, and the outcome is never good.

Parental rejection, abuse or neglect is damaging for all personality types.


Excellent article, Liane, and thank you.

It’s been nearly 2 weeks with Mike. He’s engaging, hilarious, and very intelligent. He’s been letting little bits and pieces out about his “life” with the spath brother and wife. The damage is apparent, but he’s working hard to Survive, even by meeting people and realizing that he’s accepted in social circles without having to watch what he says, or say the “right things” in conversation. Meeting neighbors the other night, we returned home and I mentioned that he hadn’t displayed ANY “awkward moments,” and he was thoroughly astounded. “I did okay, then?” I answered, “Of course you did! You’re fun to be around, and everyone responded to your sense of fun.”

The insidious nature of abuse and neglect, especially when we’re talking about a child born to a spathic environment, cannot be understated. Mike displays a LOT of symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome – the spath brother “took care of” him, even when Mike was suffering from physical maladies and conditions. The spath brother never took him to a physician to attend to a series of illnesses, but he “took care of” Mike via his armchair practice of medicine.

The “big discussion” is coming up, tomorrow. What Mike’s expectations are of us, and what our expectations are of him. The “contract” is also going to be drawn up and discussed.

My responses to Mike’s insistance that his spath brother “helped” him out is being strained because it’s NOT helpful to let someone go a week with a fever without medical attention. It’s NOT helpful to let someone go with an abcess without medical attention. It’s NOT helpful to set someone up in a studio apartment for a month with no food or money and only a filthy mattress on the floor. It’s NOT helpful to cause someone to live in constant terror if “something goes wrong.” These are the triggers that I have to manage, at t his point. The spath father is a moot point – that may come out in the wash over a period of years, but the loyalty displayed is so deep that I don’t believe that Mike will ever recognize the Truth – at least, not in MY lifetime.

So……the whole point of this post is that it’s not a failure to seek counseling/therapy from a well-versed clinician when we’re dealing with the aftermath of sociopathy and domestic violence/abuse/neglect. This site, thank God, provides a good measure of therapy for Survivors, but additional help is imperative to remain on the healing path, in my humble opinion.

How do we find a counselor/therapist that is familiar with sociopathy? Calling a mental health referral service is a good first step. Trying on counselors/therapists is also very important. Just like a pair of new shoes, some counselors seem to be a perfect fit until a couple of miles down the road, and our emotional feet begin to swell, develop blisters, and become uncomfortable. It’s nothing personal against the counselor if we feel we need to change – it’s PRESERVATION.

More importantly, we are not allowed to consider ourselves a “failure” because we’re asking for help from a professional! How did this stigma ever become so virulant??? If we’re on the side of the road with a blown head-gasket, we do not have the tools or equipment to fix that engine. We hire a qualified mechanic, right? What makes us think that it’s shameful or disgraceful to ask a qualified professional to help us sort through the emotional baggage to find and remain on our healing paths?

Mike’s healing path is going to be long, bumpy, and full of revelations, I believe. But, it’s also a good possibility that he’s going to take this proverbial bull by the horns and make his life his very own, for once.

Brightest blessings and many thanks for the support, guidance, and encouragement!!!!!!!!

Frank Lee Speaking

That’s my story. I am not a sociopath, but it put me in a situation were my sociopath father and deeply disturb mother “softened me up” in such as way that adult sociopaths were able to reconise me as an easy target.

The whole thing with genetics and sociopathy I find hard to buy. Mainly as one’s personality is not rooted in your genes. This is the kind of garbage which science was throwing around in the 1970’s that DNA was the answer to everything. This idea of a sociopath gene comes from the same junk science mindset as a Fat Gene or an Alcoholic Gene. Prue garbage. The New Scientist magazine recently had an article stating that the entire GENEOME Project has been a gigantic failure and science may even be on a completely wrong path with many aspects of genetic science. This was to be the Rosetta Stone of everything from curing disease to saving mankind. A huge waste of time and money.

The proof for me is that every sociopath I ever enountered, either male of female all grew up in normal homes and had non-disordered loving parents and siblings. I can certainly see how a socipathic mother or father can screw up their children. But that’s not the same thing as claiming they will grow up to sociopaths themselves. Evidence would suggest that sociopaths just seem to arrive out of nowhere.


Frank Lee;

“This idea of a sociopath gene comes from the same junk science mindset as a Fat Gene or an Alcoholic Gene. Prue garbage.”

First, learn how to spell. Second, get your science correct. While there is no one gene governing obesity or alcoholism, there are a combination of genes that lend a propensity towards obesity, alcoholism and any number of other diseases and disorders.

I subscribe to New Scientist and do not remember seeing any article “stating that the entire GENEOME Project has been a gigantic failure and science may even be on a completely wrong path with many aspects of genetic science. This was to be the Rosetta Stone of everything from curing disease to saving mankind. A huge waste of time and money…”

Please provide a reference, as I remember reading quite the opposite and other than the human genome being far more complex than originally thought, everything else was positive. Below are some QUOTES:

“Genetic testing is already saving lives, and the numbers benefiting should soon grow dramatically..”

“Sequencing genomes is now much faster and cheaper, but not better yet. The next generation of sequencing technology will take results to a new level…”

“We know many diseases are partly inherited, so geneticists are baffled by their failure to find the genetic variants responsible…”

The latter mere indication of the genome complexity, not a worn path or waste of money.

You say, “the proof for me is that every sociopath I ever encountered, either male of female all grew up in normal homes and had non-disordered loving parents and siblings.” MAYBE IT IS GENETICS THEN.

“Evidence would suggest that sociopaths just seem to arrive out of nowhere.”

Ridiculous, no further comment necessary.


I am not surprised that conduct disordered boys are just like their fathers. I would go as far to say that a male with an abusive or otherwise disordered father should be a red flag.

At the age of 4, my x-sociopath was abandoned by his father. Jamie hated is father so much that he never spoke to him while alive, refused to visit him when he was terminally ill and did not attend his funeral.

I never pressed Jamie for more details. I presumed his father was either successful while Jamie and his sister and mother remained poor, or, more likely, his father was a poor alcoholic whose actions were known to Jamie, causing him shame and embarrassment. I say this because his father died at a young age (late 40) , consistent with being poor and alcoholic.

I read an article somewhere stating that 30 percent of male raised in English “Council Homes” (public housing) were sociopaths. I do not know if Jamie grew up in public housing, but the rest fits (poor, urban, single parent).

Thus, Jamie’s father was most likely a sociopath, just as Jamie. How much is genetics vs. nurture is the great debate, but sociopaths don’t “just seem to arrive out of nowhere.”


Blue eyes, my ex spath and spath son are prime examples (proof and evidence) that this theory is valid. The spathy goes back WELL beyond ex spath’s father, as well.

No, they don’t just spontaneously errupt – they are often carbon copies of their predecessors and groomed to be even more heinous in their predation BY their predecessors. Of the spaths that I’ve met in my lifetime, NONE of them were products of loving, emotionally healthy environments. Having said that, I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t have some sort of dysfunctional family……

Where/how/why sociopathy occurs is a moot point. What is vital is that sociopathy be re-defined with specific criteria and parameters to include the “everyday” sociopath, and that the information about these people is made as public as possible.


I am going to take a bit of time to absorb and read this aritcle …and Oxy’s reply especially… (been pre occupied in the ‘abusive relationship’ that is the ‘hope’ that england would win the world cup!) but frank and BBE I really think the jury is out on all this stuff so both your perspectives are food for thought for me but dont have a punch up;)x.x


actually – BBE – (i still havent read everythng yet so this is off the cuff) I am going to say this kindly,but I am going to say it because it bothers me…
Sociopathy is not a class issue.
I find your comments about this upsetting:( x


Frank Lee, do you even do any research before pontificating, or do you just type out words to see what will generate the most caustic responses? Your remark is very glib, as far as I’m concerned, and I will no longer read any post of yours whether it has validity or not.

Have a nice day.


Blueksies … I find the issue of class an interesting one in regard to sociopathy. Whilst both sociopathy and abuse occur in all sectors of society … there are certain characteristics of poverty ridden areas that may make it easier for it to occur. (I’m thinking mainly of the environmental influences here) And I am not saying this to upset you or anyone else – I grew up in state housing in a sole parent family and from the outside fit the stereotype of someone bound to fail in life. However, I am college educated, have a good career, have not had children early myself and now lead a middle class life – point being Just because you’re born in a pigsty doesn’t make you a pig.

The influences I am thinking of that relate to poverty and not ideal treatment of children are … poor nutrition (good healthy food is expensive and Coke is cheaper than milk) – this can affect both children’s and adult’s cognition and behaviour. Stress is another major factor – poverty causes a lot of stress and stress is known to be related to child abuse … advertisements in my country at the moment focus on encouraging parents to move away from a crying baby and calm down – the catchphrase “Are you strong enough to count to ten?” is used to exemplify the idea that stress contributes to infant shaking (there have been several fatal cases of this in the media recently). The other factor that may contribute to children being treated poorly is lack of parental education … we don’t grow up in families of fourteen now so many adults don’t have experience of how to care for and interact with young children. If they don’t read much then how are those people to gather good information about parenting? Thank goodness for the volunteer parent support groups that exist. There is also evidence (and please don’t ask for the reference as I will have a dreadful time trying to find it!) that the more literate a parent is, the more likely they are to read with their children and value education. I recall reading a few years ago that the single most important factor in children’s school success (controlling for all factors, such as poverty etc) was the level of educational achievement by the MOTHER. Apparently the success of children who have mothers with post graduate education skyrockets when compared with t hose who dropped out of high school.

I don’t know if I agree with these ideas or not, but can certainly see that an adult who values education will aim to pass this love of learning onto their offspring.

I think we’re going to have problems with the children who are growing up today – it seems there are more and more angry children with each passing year. And without blaming working mothers and fathers, I have to wonder about the contribution of high staff turnovers in child care centres (and long hours of attendance) and how these factors may be contributing to sociopathy and other personality disorders in adulthood. I know parents must work and children need care – with the cost of living as high as it is, in most cases it is an absolute necessity. But professional care in a centre is not the same as family care where there is a familal bond and recognition of common genetics – a childcare teacher can leave at any time. And very often they do due to poor working conditions and unbearable stress. In many parts of the world, childcare centres have simply become profit machines where costs are cut in every direction (mostly in staffing ratios meaning staff are left with more children and less workers to work with them) and the wellbeing of children and staff isn’t even considered.

This high staff turnover will have a critical effect on the formation oof early attachments and henceforth the model carried in mind for healthy adult relationships as the child grows up. I have read quite a bit of research that is critical of childcare’s impact on psychological functioning – particularly long hours, large group sizes and not enough teachers to children. Some children spend longer in daycare than their parents do at the office in a working week.

I absolutely DO NOT blame parents for this. I blame the greedy operators who are putting profits before everything. But most of all I blame the government for setting minimum standards of operation that don’t encourage quality and for allowing the profiteers to open chains just like supermarkets. There should be higher standards and a limit on how many childcare centres can be owned by one person or corporation. Children deserve better than to be exploited for a quick buck – it’s their futures that are being gambled with and accordingly the future for all of us.

I’ll be interested to hear thoughts on this … this is just my brain farts 🙂

As a side note I know a father and son similar to what you are discussing above – father is diagnosed as ADHD and is quite forceful, pushy etc. Son stabbled a kid in elementary school and conduct disorder was mooted but then was diagnosed with ADHD … since then has shown in teen years symptoms of full blown sociopathy – stealing, lying, no remorse, no plans, booze, women and sex etc – you know the picture here. Parents have tried everything and are at their wits end. They’re starting to realise (especially mom) that no contact may be the only option in this case.

PS Wonderful article Lianne – you have a way of making the complex easy to understand … why are these fathers not being diagnosed with anything if they have similar characteristics? Why is there almost a universal reluctance to diagnose sociopathy / psychopathy?


polly sweetie, hi!

i was listening to a radio show today about infant mortality in uganda – the single most important factor in determining infant mortality: the mother’s education level.

how are you? pretty bad over here – first slipped disc in neck, now my back is out and my fibro is in a full blown flare. I am finally able to type more (spent weeks with hands in splints) and now i can’t sit for more than a short while without getting nauseous from pain. life is sucking. getting interviews. then i go back to bed until i can get up again. it REALLY sucks. this week i am going to look into disability pension. was supposed to got to a lecture on it last monday – but was in too much pain to get out of bed. arrrgggh. 😉

i am sort of okay though. deeply scared about my body and cognitive decline in the last few months. but some how i am still trying. best to you tootsie.

the other roll.

Ox Drover


JUST FYI there is a LOT OF RESEARCH that has been done on psychopathy and there is GOOD EVIDENCE that it is mainly genetic, but not 100% genetic,, that there are environhmental issues with it.

It is pretty well understood that therapy does not cure them but may in some cases dampen down their criminal or anti social behavior.

Children of sociopaths are not “damned” or totally bound to be a psychopath, but they ARE more at risk than others. Just as the tendency to be an alcoholic or drug addict is partly genetic, partly environment and partly CHOICES, so is psychopathic behavior and ways of social interaction.

There is not** A** sociopathic gene, but several genes that contribute to psychopathy, including the production of and receptors for oxytocin, the “bonding” hormone.

For the past x number of years (I’m not even sure how long) I have studied psychopathy and so have others here with professional qualifications, and people who are victims have also studied the disorder, and there is a lot of stuff to study.

If you are genuuinely interested in the causes, I suggest that you go to Bob Hare’s web site and to other areas where there is quite a bit of solid science on psychopathy showing genetic connections. Good luck in your effort to learn.


I’m hoping you find relief……however it comes!!!

Somethings gotta give for you……there are better days ahead.


Ox Drover

GETTING IT, I saw the post to me (the first few words) on the left, but My Internet connection is back to SQUAT again, so can only get on the threads with few comments.

Glad you like my “gallows humor,” but sheesh when you get to be older’n dirt you just have to find SOMETHING to laugh about! I’m actually enjoying being an old bat! No more white coats and professional demeanor, no more watching I don’t say “Oh SHEET!” at an inappropriate time! No having to worry about my hair, make up, or anything else, just let it all hang out and be ME!!!!

I’ve taken life way to seriously up to now and I’m realizing that the universe was here before I came and will be here long after I’m gone! I’m also NO LONGER responsible for keeping it running. I’ll leave that to God and I’ll just be responsible for my tiny little corner of the world and let him Take the rest! ((((hugs)))


Frank lee Speaking I think you have some good insight. Our parents and enviroment have so much to do with who we are. I am homsexual because of genetic’s. I have been dysfunctional most of my life because of my parent’s and the twisted enviroment I was raised in. I used to be a target for predators..there is a very good book that helped me with personality disorders ‘meaning from madness’ by richard skerritt….I have stopped trying to diagnose everybody , including myself..I just want peace at last…



While much focus regarding psychopathy is on prefrontal cortex abnormalities, under-active noradrenaline response and high testosterone levels (in males), I believe you are on to something regarding oxytocin, especially regarding those psychopaths/sociopaths with a history of many short-term relationships. It may also explain the propensity of psychopaths/sociopaths to be less trusting.


Frank Lee,

First I have to say that I often post things on here that go against the grain or popular belief yet I have not had any problems or attacks from other posters here. Why? because unlike your posts I have not intentionally come in with a flame thrower on tring to make forcefull incendiary comments to others. Just because you, me, or someone else believes something doesn’t mean diddly unless there is some proof behind it and it certainly doesn’t give us the right to flame people or try to incite others. That is no way to try and convince people your point is correct.

As for the whole genetics/environment piece, I have posted about the quite a bit previously. In this instance genetics are not destiny. There is an interaction between genes and environmental factors that tweek each other over time and these are dynamic so they change over time and situation.

Most people I read talk about nature or nurture and stick with just those two. Personally I think the 3rd piece is as important as those two but not often discussed in the same vein. That piece is choice.

Choice can often overcome but nature and nurture (in regards to this topic). A person may be “predisposed” genetically to alcoholism but they make a choice not to drink alcohol. A person makes a choice not to treat another person poorly, not to sexually assault, not to strike another person, not to use that drug, etc.

It may not be as easy for some as it may be for others but that still does not mean someone is compelled/forced to do certain things because of genetics. For instance someone may have impulse control issues that make it easier to do certain impulsive things. Yet they can still make a choice to work on improving this in themselves and improve it over time. BUT this often takes a lot of conscious work with success and slip ups along the way and there are a good number of folks who do not want to do this work and prefer the easy way out; the easy excuse or rationalization. This is why just taking a pill to fix something can seem so attractive.

Making serious lifestyle changes can be, and often is, very difficult for many people let alone deep seated personality issues. Humans tend to be quick to judge and slow to change. But we have the ability to overcome these things or at the least improve them by the choices we make.

There is a quote I like that says “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”.


Polly –
thanks for your ‘Brain Fart’ (lol!) I’m going to fart now too;)

I have always felt terribly guilty about having to work and leave my son in private childcare from a young age and I would agree with what you say about it being poor quality and certainly not ideal. Yes. Son hated being left at nursery, had major separation anxiety, the staff were unskilled and too young. It was also very, very expensive!

He then went to private SCHOOL which was great for son (less than 10 kids in a class 1 mature experienced teacher and two assistants!) He really made progress.

When I stopped working ( because of my spath related disintegration) he had to go to the local state school 32 kids 1 harrasssed teacher and 1 teenage assistant – he REALLY struggles to get work done there! At home in a one to one – he produces wonderful work – at school he scribbles all over his books and seems to be going ‘backward’ academically, feels angry alot, it eats away at his self esteem… there is no one available for one to one guidance at school:( But I have more time WITH him myself and more time to spend AT the school.

If I had the money to send him somewhere else. he WOULD do better. If I could afford to stay at home more with him…he WOULD do better. If things in MY life hadnt been so disruptive… he WOULD do better. So my poverty and MY situation IS a stumbling block…for him.Of course it is. I’m working on it.

Back to the great unwashed spawning 30% of sociopaths ;P ‘If they don’t read much then how are those people to gather good information about parenting?’ Agreed!

Our last government did a couple of really valuable things for our society that are now being scrapped:( In particular – ‘SureStart’ a programme to deliver quality early education, childcare, health and family support in our most deprived areas, these programmes engaged with parents and children at a young age and were a single point of access to health and education and social services. Parents learning about basic parenting skills and nutrition…which they had no clue about before… They ran a campaign to encourage reading with your child which included a box of books for EVERY child… access to literacy help for parents…etc.etc..I believe that surestart improved the life chances of countless children AND their parents. But its being scrapped:(

I think we should all be marching on parliament right now to demand more action against poverty and poor education.

I like what EC said “Parental rejection, abuse or neglect is damaging for all personality types.”

… and if poorer parents have less parenting ‘tools’ than middle class ones , and having them will make a difference…we need to make sure they get them!

…. Then there’s the high flying bankers and CEO’s who went to EATON and screwed us all! The CEO of BP who thinks that sailing his yacht with his son instead of spending every waking hour clearing up his mess is ‘okay’… I am pretty sure he didnt grow up on a council estate!

Oxy’s oxytocin – I was just reading about clinical trials with regard to the behavioural effect of oxytocin on people with autism. it’s encoraging… maybe along the tracks there will be an effective way to treat these conditions… but as buttons points out unless specific criteria and parameters to include the “everyday” sociopath are defined and recognised how can anyone do effective work on how to clinically treat it.


And … now I get to complimenting Dr. Leedom for this thought provocing wonderful article…

i dont have a child with a socipath but he has been affected by MY relationship with one…

“The most important question is, what can WE do”

“Depression in a mother predicts antisocial disorders in children with sociopathic fathers. I believe the reason is that a mother battling UNTREATED depression has a difficult time relating to a child in a way that promotes enthusiasm for loving and the development of empathy.”

“There is, however, one thing these parents can control, that is their own loving relationship with the child.”


( cor. just coming here and ‘talking to myself’ today helped me to define my thoughts and release hurt and ‘percieved insult’ – lF is pretty good isnt it?;)x


Buttons – I really admire you for what you are doing. Mike is one lucky boy to have you in his life and batting for his team.x I wish him all the very best.x

Ox Drover

Dear Blkueskies,

You bring up many points that are of courcern to me as well. Leaving infant children with a large “kid herd” to care for.

Women have always worked both inside the home and outside the home, but usually the child was minded IN the home either byu older sisters or brothrs, or before this was available option, the mother took the child with her.

The child was cradled in the family, not with strangers who changed on a regular bassis and the kids themselves changed on a regular basis. The child could make connections with the caregivers and other infants or toddlers.Even today in many primative cultures the child rides in a sling on the mother’s back and when he no longer does that, he toddles with her to her daily chores or stays behind with an older sibling.
I was a stay at home mom when my kids were pre-school age, OR the few jobs I took were ones in which I could take my kids WITH ME. I was a church secretary—-took the kids and set them down to play or sleep, etc., managed a large fish farm, hauled them around in my pick up with me as I worked. When this was no longer possible, I got a job waiting tables at night and let my boys sleep over with my best friend and picked them up to take them to school, anbd slept while they were in school.

The reason (at the time) I did it this way when I did work was to save on baby sitting costs, AND because the one year I had to go to a LARGE day care myself, I hated it being “just a number” one of a large herd of kids with stranger adults.

Now that I am looking back on it, I agree more and more with a stay at home parent, or one who has a job which can include the child(ren).

My late husband’s granddaughter-in-law does Real estate sales, and she works it around her two children, taking them with her on call outs, or waiting until her husband is home and can care for them. In actual fact, she is one of the TOP sellers for her region. So she has sort of the BEST of “both worldS” a job and time to be with and care for her kids.

When they came to visit a few months back, I was SHOCKED at how well behaved they were for their ages. I also had my heart warmed when I watched the look on the face of my grandson as he sat on the couch watching his 4 year old son sleep. Talk about a LOOK OF LOVE! Anbd I sure do hope the latest generation does become like his daddy! and their mother!


How lovely:)x Thanks for sharing that Oxy. Your husband had ‘good stuff’ to pass on and the environment is right for it to flourish.x Fab.xx

I like what you say about women having their children with them: I met a woman a while back who was volunteering at a horticultural charity that works with people recovering from depression, she had her child in a sling, like a cloth, african style, at all times… when the child got older the sling was adapted and sometimes the child would just sit by the mother as she worked…. the child was the least fretful and calmest child I have ever seen:) This woman made a choice to spend her time child rearing like THAT… not on the school or Nursery run (I agree with the ‘kid heard’ thing – you walk into some of these nurseries and its like the Lord of the flies!;) My natural response is: well that isnt practical for most urban single parents…real food for thought…x

Our wonderful 2010 society and all its marvelous ‘progress’ has missed something I think…

Ox Drover

Dear Blueskies,

I think I just did whatever job I had to do to be with my kids, and bartered baby sitting with friends and relatives so they never had to go to day care. I think our resourcefulness in thinking out side the box makes us think we can fix anything or do anything, and we try to fix the relationshit with the Ps.

My cows, believe it or not, trade baby sitting duty when the calves are all very small. You will see one cow (not necessarily even the mother of a calf right then) lying down chewing her cud with all the “kindergarden” around her and the mommie cows out grazing all over the place. Then later you will see the kindergarden with another baby minder there.

Lord of the Flies is right! I didn’t want that for my kids….l

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