Dustin Pardini, PhD


  • PhD, Child Clinical Psychology, University of Alabama - 2003


201 N. Craig St., Suite 408

Dustin Pardini joined the Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS) as a postdoctoral fellow in the summer of 2003.  He is currently serving as the Co-Director of the study with Dr. Rolf Loeber.  His program of research involves elucidating the precursors and outcomes associated with the development of antisocial (e.g., violence, theft) and substance using behaviors from childhood to adulthood, as well as evaluating the impact that early psychosocial interventions can have on these problems.  Much of this work has focused on a particularly violent subgroup of youth with conduct problems who are characterized by the presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits, which includes a lack of guilt, low empathetic concern for others, and shallow affect. 

One aim of this research is to delineate the unique socio-contextual, temperamental, and neurobiological causal mechanisms that influence the early emergence of CU traits, as well as changes in these features across development.  Another aim is to evaluate the extent to which existing psychosocial interventions facilitate positive behavioral change among children exhibiting CU traits. 

This body of research is critical for creating more targeted and effective interventions designed to prevent youth with CU traits from becoming habitual criminal offenders that repeatedly victimize others.  An emerging second line of research seeks to identify the etiological mechanisms that influence the initiation and persistence of substance use/abuse from adolescence to adulthood, as well as elucidate the impact that early chronic use has on later psychosocial and neurobiological functioning.

Representative Publications

Pardini DA, Frick PJ, Moffitt TE. Building an evidence base for DSM-5 conceptualizations of oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder: Introduction to the special section. J Abnorm Psychol. 2010 Nov;119(4):683-8. PubMed PMID: 21090874.

Kolko DJ, Pardini DA. ODD dimensions, ADHD, and callous-unemotional traits as predictors of treatment response in children with disruptive behavior disorders. J Abnorm Psychol. 2010 Nov;119(4):713-25. PubMed PMID: 21090875.

Kroneman LM, Hipwell AE, Loeber R, Koot HM, Pardini DA. Contextual risk factors as predictors of disruptive behavior disorder trajectories in girls: The moderating effect of callous-unemotional features. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011 Feb;52(2):167-75. PubMed PMID: 20735513; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2994952.

Pardini DA. Perceptions of social conflicts among incarcerated adolescents with callous-unemotional traits: “You're going to pay. It’s going to hurt, but I don’t care."  J Child Psychol Psyc. 2011 Mar;52(3):248-255. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3034798.

Pardini D, Stepp S, Hipwell A, Stouthamer-Loeber M, Loeber R. The clinical utility of the proposed DSM-5 callous-unemotional subtype of conduct disorder in young girls. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2012 Jan;51(1):62-73 e4. PubMed PMID: 22176940; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3271440.

Byrd AL, Loeber R, Pardini DA. Understanding desisting and persisting forms of delinquency: The unique contributions of disruptive behavior disorders and interpersonal callousness. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012 Apr;53(4):371-80. PubMed PMID: 22176342.

Pardini DA, Byrd AL**. Perceptions of aggressive conflicts and others' distress in children with callous-unemotional traits: 'I'll show you who's boss, even if you suffer and I get in trouble'. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012 Mar;53(3):283-91. PubMed PMID: 22066467.

Pardini D, Frick PJ. Multiple developmental pathways to conduct disorder: Current conceptualizations and clinical implications. J Can Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;22(1):20-5. PubMed PMID: 23390429; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3565711.

Pardini DA, Raine A, Erickson K, Loeber R. Lower amygdala volume in men is associated with childhood aggression, early psychopathic traits, and future violence. Biol Psychiatry. 2014;75(1):73-80.

Hawes SW, Byrd AL, Henderson CE, Gazda RL, Burke JD, Loeber R, Pardini DA. Refining the parent-reported Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits in boys with conduct problems. Psychological Assessment. 2014;26(1):256-266.

Hawes SW, Mulvey EP, Schubert C, Pardini DA. Structural coherence and temporal stability of psychopathic personality features during emerging adulthood. J Abnorm Psychol. 2014;Forthcoming.