When Samantha was six years old, she tried to choke her two-year-old sister as they sat in the back seat of their mother’s car. After mom separated them, Samantha said she wanted to kill everyone in the family.
The anecdote starts an article in the June issue of The Atlantic, When Your Child Is a Psychopath. The author, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, writes that Samantha was diagnosed with conduct disorder with callous and unemotional traits. She has the traits of a budding psychopath.
Hagerty spoke to many of the leading experts on psychopathy and how it develops for this article. It’s a good explanation of the state of the science.
The article also describes a treatment program for adolescents in Wisconsin that has achieved a reasonable amount of success in helping disordered juveniles stay out of jail. It works by focusing on rewards rather than punishment.
Some of the kids who have gone through the program manage to stay out of jail. Whether any of them learn to feel empathy remains to be seen.
When Your Child Is a Psychopath, on TheAtlantic.com.
Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.