[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An impressive literature has revealed that variation in virtually every measurable phenotype is the result of a combination of genetic and environmental influences. Based on these findings, studies that fail to use genetically informed modeling strategies risk model misspecification and biased parameter estimates. Twin-and adoption-based research designs have frequently been used to overcome this limitation. Despite the many advantages of such approaches, many available datasets do not contain samples of twins, siblings or adoptees, making it impossible to utilize these modeling strategies. The current study proposes a measurement strategy for estimating the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior (ASB) within a nationally representative sample of singletons using an extended pedigree risk approach that relies on information from first-and second-degree relatives. An evaluation of this approach revealed a pattern of findings that directly aligned with studies examining ASB using more traditional twin-and adoption-based research designs. While the proposed pedigree risk approach is not capable of effectively isolating genetic and environmental influences, this overall alignment in results provides tentative evidence suggesting that the proposed pedigree risk measure effectively captures genetic influences. Future replication studies are necessary as this observation remains preliminary. Whenever possible, more traditional quantitative genetic methodologies should be favored, but the presented strategy remains a viable alternative for more limited samples.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 09/2015; DOI:10.1017/thg.2015.68 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychopathic personality traits have been shown to increase the odds of a wide range of antisocial outcomes. Very little research, however, has examined the association between psychopathy and the risk of personal victimization. The current study address this gap in the literature by examining the association between scores on the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy scale and a self-reported measure of victimization by using cross-sectional data drawn from a sample of youth residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (N = 311). The results revealed a positive and statistically significant association between LSPR scores and the odds of being victimized. Additional analyses revealed that two mediators-arrest history and exposure to delinquent peers-were related to personal victimization, but neither of these measures mediated the effects of LSPR scores on victimization. Whether these findings would generalize to other nations remains an issue awaiting future research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal depression has consistently been found to be associated with child problem behaviours. In the current study, we examine the possibility of whether the association between maternal depression and child antisocial behaviour may be due to confounding. Data from waves 2, 5 and 7 of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort were analysed. Our analysis revealed a significant association between maternal depression and child antisocial behaviour prior to matching. After successfully matching the mothers on 29 key covariates, one of the cross-sectional associations and the longitudinal association between maternal depression and child antisocial behaviour was no longer statistically significant. However, two cross-sectional associations between maternal depression and child antisocial behaviour remained statistically significant. The results of the study are discussed in relation to the importance of the timing of maternal depression within different developmental time periods.
Child & Family Social Work 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/cfs.12247 · 0.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wealth of research has revealed that a shorter duration of breastfeeding during infancy can increase the risk of various maladaptive traits, including neuropsychological deficits. Despite the number of studies that have been conducted on the topic, few studies have explored whether the effects of breastfeeding on neuropsychological functioning and personality features persist into adulthood. Furthermore, very little research to date has examined whether this relationship is moderated by specific indicators of genetic risk. The current study examines the direct and interactive effects of breastfeeding experiences and the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5HTTLPR) on neuropsychological deficits and psychopathic personality traits. Using data from the National Longitudinal study of Adolescent Health, we find that no exposure to breastfeeding and a shorter duration of breastfeeding significantly increase the risk of exhibiting neuropsychological deficits during adolescence and early adulthood as well as psychopathic personality traits during adulthood. The results also reveal a number of gene × environment interactions between 5HTTLPR, breastfeeding exposure and breastfeeding duration in the prediction of neuropsychological deficits, but not in the prediction of psychopathic personality traits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An extensive line of research has identified delinquent peer association as a salient environmental risk factor for delinquency, especially during adolescence. While previous research has found moderate-to-strong associations between exposure to delinquent peers and a variety of delinquent behaviors, comparatively less scholarship has focused on the genetic architecture of this association over the course of adolescence. Using a subsample of kinship pairs (N = 2379; 52 % female) from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth—Child and Young Adult Supplement (CNLSY), the present study examined the extent to which correlated individual differences in starting levels and developmental growth in delinquent peer pressure and self-reported delinquency were explained by additive genetic and environmental influences. Results from a series of biometric growth models revealed that 37 % of the variance in correlated growth between delinquent peer pressure and self-reported delinquency was explained by additive genetic effects, while nonshared environmental effects accounted for the remaining 63 % of the variance. Implications of these findings for interpreting the nexus between peer effects and adolescent delinquency are discussed.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 05/2015; 44(7). DOI:10.1007/s10964-015-0299-8 · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: The current study explores the possibility that the antisocial traits and behaviors of parents and children have persistent, bidirectional effects on each other that contribute to a pathway of shared risk. Method: We employ data from the Early Longitudinal Child Survey, Kindergarten (ECLS-K), a national, longitudinal study of children. Path analysis was used to test our hypothesis. Results: The results suggest that there is substantial stability in antisocial traits of parents and children over time. While only child risk was found to predict parent risk during early childhood, both parent risk and child risk influenced each other from late childhood to early adolescence. Conclusions: Stability in the antisocial traits and behaviors of parents and their children is a function of both parent-driven and child-driven effects over time, with child and parenting effects being differentially relevant depending on the life stage examined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wealth of research has revealed that psychopathy and psychopathic personality traits are associated with criminal involvement. Comparatively less research, however, has examined whether psychopathic personality traits influence economic outcomes in adulthood. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The results of the analyses indicate that psychopathic personality traits are negatively related to a number of economic outcomes, including household income and employment history measures. Individuals with high levels of psychopathic personality traits were found to have lower household incomes and to be fired more frequently than individuals with lower levels of psychopathic personality traits. Unexpectedly, psychopathic personality traits were also found to be negatively associated with household debt. There was also some evidence that the effect of psychopathic personality traits was moderated by intelligence in the prediction of household income. We discuss what these findings mean for the psychopathy and economics literatures.
Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 04/2015; 26(4):1-19. DOI:10.1080/14789949.2015.1037330 · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Moffitt’s taxonomy remains an influential theoretical framework within criminology. Despite much empirical scrutiny, comparatively less time has been spent testing the snares component of Moffitt’s work. Specifically, are there factors that might engender continued criminal involvement for individuals otherwise likely to desist? The current study tested whether gang membership increased the odds of contact with the justice system for each of the offender groups specified in Moffitt’s original developmental taxonomy. Our findings provided little evidence that gang membership increased the odds of either adolescence-limited or life-course persistent offenders being processed through the criminal justice system. Moving forward, scholars may wish to shift attention to alternative variables—beyond gang membership—when testing the snares hypothesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given that enlistment in the U.S. military is completely voluntary, there has been a great deal of interest in identifying the various factors that might explain why some people join the military, whereas others do not. The current study expanded on this line of literature by estimating the extent to which genetic and environmental factors explained variance in the liability for lifetime participation in the military. Analysis of twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) revealed that 82% of the variance was the result of genetic factors, 18% of the variance was the result of nonshared environmental factors, and none of the variance was accounted for by shared environmental factors. In light of a number of limitations, replication studies are needed to determine the robustness of these findings and whether they are generalizable to other samples and populations.
SAGE Open 04/2015; 5(2). DOI:10.1177/2158244015573352
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There has been a great deal of research revealing that psychopathy is related to criminal involvement and other measures of antisocial behavior. However, the generalizability of these findings is limited because of some potential problems with measurement and because of the overreliance on forensic samples and the relative lack of psychopathy measures in national samples. The current study addresses these gaps in the existing psychopathy literature by examining the association between a Five-Factor Model-based measure of psychopathic personality traits and criminal justice outcomes in a nationally representative sample of males and females. Analysis of data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) revealed that psychopathic personality traits predicted the probability of being arrested, of being incarcerated, and of being sentenced to probation for both males and females. Additional analyses revealed that the psychopathic personality traits scale was also associated with a self-reported delinquency scale. We concluded by discussing the importance of the concept of psychopathy and psychopathic personality traits to criminological theory and research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a species, humans are generally serial monogamists; in some cases mating with the same partner for years or even decades. Nonetheless, humans often mate with more than one partner over the life course, meaning that romantic pair bonds often come to an end. Prior research has tentatively suggested that a mental mechanism might exist that facilitates severing the romantic bond between mates. Put differently, because romantic love is a species-typical trait, all members of the human species may come equipped with the mental hardware for both falling in love as well as for ending a relationship. Currently, the evolutionary, cognitive, neurobiological, and genetic underpinnings of human mate ejection have yet to be fully elucidated. We examine each of these factors to illuminate the possible mechanisms that may underpin the human tendency to fall out of love.
Review of General Psychology 03/2015; 19(1):30-38. DOI:10.1037/gpr0000022 · 1.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the past couple of decades, the amount of research examining the genetic underpinnings to antisocial behaviors, including crime, has exploded. Findings from this body of work have generated a great deal of information linking genetics to criminal involvement. As a partial result, there is now a considerable amount of interest in how these findings should be integrated into the criminal justice system. In the current paper, we outline the potential ways that genetic information can be used to increase the effectiveness of treatment programs designed to reduce recidivism among offenders. We conclude by drawing attention to how genetic information can be used by rehabilitation programs to increase program effectiveness, reduce offender recidivism rates, and enhance public safety.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low birth weight has been found to increase the risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. However, few studies adequately control for shared environmental influences (e.g., concentrated disadvantage, family structure) or examine whether interactions between birth weight and genetic factors predict ADHD. The present study addresses these limitations in prior research by examining a) whether sibling differences in low birth weight status are significantly predictive of sibling differences in behaviors symptomatic of ADHD and b) whether sibling differences in dopaminergic genes interact with sibling differences in low birth weight status to predict sibling differences in ADHD symptomatology. The results suggest that low birth weight siblings are at significantly greater risk of exhibiting symptoms of ADHD during childhood relative to their normal birth weight siblings. Moreover, possessing greater genetic risk on three dopaminergic genes (DAT1, DRD2, and DRD4) relative to a sibling appears to exacerbate the link between sibling differences in birth weight and sibling differences in ADHD symptomatology. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Psychiatry Research 02/2015; 226(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.01.025 · 2.47 Impact Factor