Kevin M Beaver

Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States

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Publications (178)249.37 Total impact

  • J C Barnes, Brian B Boutwell, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Handgun ownership has been the focus of much criminological research due to the overinvolvement of handguns in violent crime. This literature has, however, overlooked the potential role genetic factors play in the decision to purchase a handgun. The current study analyzed the genetic and environmental influences on handgun ownership among a large sample of young adult twins from the United States. Analyses revealed a stronger concordance for gun ownership among identical twins as compared to fraternal twins and univariate ACE model results indicated genetic (57%) and nonshared environmental (43%) factors explained the variance in handgun ownership. A mediation analysis was performed and the results indicated a portion of the genetic influence on handgun ownership may be mediated by victimization experiences.
    Death Studies 03/2014; 38(3):156-64. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • Joseph L. Nedelec, Kevin M. Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Assess the relationship between levels of self-control in adolescence and a variety of later-life outcomes and evaluate the confounding effects of genetic factors. Methods The current study employed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and examined whether levels of self-control in adolescence are related to economic, educational, employment, health, relationship and family, and behavioral outcomes in adulthood using DeFries-Fulker regression-based analyses. Results Analyses employing non-genetically sensitive methods indicated robust associations between self-control and various social consequences. After estimating genetically-sensitive analyses, however, many associations were no longer significant. Those associations which remained significant were in the reversed direction relative to the non-genetically sensitive models. Additionally, further analyses indicated that some of the remaining significant associations were influenced by nonshared genetic effects. Conclusions The findings indicate that even after controlling for the effect of genetic factors, levels of self-control are associated with differences in a variety of social outcomes. However, given the reduction in the number of significant associations and reversal of associations in the genetically sensitive models, analyses of the social consequences of low self-control which do not account for the effect of genetic factors are likely misspecified.
    Journal of Criminal Justice. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: An ever-growing body of research has begun to focus closely on the role of prenatal smoke exposure in the development of conduct problems in children. To this point, there appears to be a correlation between prenatal nicotine exposure and behavioral problems. We build on this prior research by examining the coalescence of prenatal smoke exposure and genetic risk factors in the prediction of behavior problems. Specifically, the current study analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of twin pairs collected during early childhood. Our findings suggested that an interaction existed between prenatal smoke exposure and genetic risk factors which corresponded to increased risk of behavior problems. These findings provide evidence of a gene–environment interaction, in that prenatal smoke exposure conditioned the influence of genetic risk factors in the prediction of aggressive behavior. Interestingly, the association between genetic risk and prenatal smoking was sex-specific, and only reached statistical significance in females. Given the nature of our findings, it may shed light on why heterogeneity exists concerning the relationship between prenatal smoke exposure and externalizing behavioral problems in children.
    Social Science & Medicine. 01/2014; 111:17–24.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose A large body of empirical research finds a significant racial gap in the use of exclusionary school discipline with black students punished at rates disproportionate to whites. Furthermore, no variable or set of variables have yet to account for this discrepancy, inviting speculation that this association is caused by racial bias or racial antipathy. We investigate this link and the possibility that differential behavior may play a role. Methods Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K), the largest sample of school-aged children in the United States, we first replicate the results of prior studies. We then estimate a second model controlling for prior problem behavior. Results Replicating prior studies, we first show a clear racial gap between black and white students in suspensions. However, in subsequent analyses the racial gap in suspensions was completely accounted for by a measure of the prior problem behavior of the student – a finding never before reported in the literature. Conclusions These findings highlight the importance of early problem behaviors and suggest that the use of suspensions by teachers and administrators may not have been as racially biased as some scholars have argued.
    Journal of Criminal Justice. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Behavior genetic research has revealed that many “environmental” variables are partially influenced by genetic factors. Known as gene–environment correlation (rGE), this line of scholarship provides insight on how and why individuals select into certain environments. Juxtaposing this body of evidence with research on peer group homophily—the tendency for peers to resemble one another on certain traits such as academic ability—raised two research hypotheses: (1) youth will associate with peers who receive grades similar to themselves (i.e., homophily for GPA); and (2) a portion of the variance in peer group GPA (i.e., the peer network average GPA) will be explained by individuals’ genetic self-selection into the peer group (rGE). The results supported both hypotheses by showing a strong predictive relationship between the target individual's GPA and that of his/her peers and by revealing that 72% of the variance in peer group GPA was explained by genetic influences.
    Social Networks 01/2014; 38:41–49. · 2.93 Impact Factor
  • Kevin M Beaver, J C Barnes, Brian B Boutwell
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    ABSTRACT: There has been a great deal of research examining the link between a polymorphism in the promoter region of the MAOA gene and antisocial phenotypes. The results of these studies have consistently revealed that low activity MAOA alleles are related to antisocial behaviors for males who were maltreated as children. Recently, though, some evidence has emerged indicating that a rare allele of the MAOA gene-that is, the 2-repeat allele-may have effects on violence that are independent of the environment. The current study builds on this research and examines the association between the 2-repeat allele and shooting and stabbing behaviors in a sample of males drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Analyses revealed that African-American males who carry the 2-repeat allele are significantly more likely than all other genotypes to engage in shooting and stabbing behaviors and to report having multiple shooting and stabbing victims. The limitations of the study are discussed and suggestions for future research are offered.
    Psychiatric Quarterly 12/2013; · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A host of research has examined the possibility that environmental risk factors might condition the influence of genes on various outcomes. Less research, however, has been aimed at exploring the possibility that genetic factors might interact to impact the emergence of human traits. Even fewer studies exist examining the interaction of genes in the prediction of behavioral outcomes. The current study expands this body of research by testing the interaction between genes involved in neural transmission. Our findings suggest that certain dopamine genes interact to increase the odds of criminogenic outcomes in a national sample of Americans.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 11/2013; · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Eric J Connolly, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: The Child and Young Adult Supplement of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (CNLSY) has been used extensively within criminology. A significant amount of criminological research, for example, has explored various issues related to the correlates, causes, and consequences associated with levels of self-control and delinquent involvement. The overwhelming majority of these CNLSY studies, however, have not accounted for the potential effects of genetic factors on these two widely studied criminological variables and thus the findings generated from previous empirical work may be inaccurate due to genetic confounding. The current study partially addresses this possibility by analyzing a sample of kinship pairs nested within the CNLSY. Analyses of these data revealed that genetic factors accounted for between 51% and 92% of the variance in levels of self-control and between 30% and 41% of the variance in delinquency. We discuss the implications of these results for interpreting findings from the large body of existing research using the CNLSY.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 10/2013; · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of literature examining the antecedents of victimization experiences has suggested that personality constructs play a role in the origins of victimization. Low self-control, in particular, represents a trait thought to directly increase the risk of victimization. At the same time, different lines of evidence suggest that genetic factors account for portions of the variance in both self-control and victimization. These findings leave open the possibility that the two traits might covary because of previously unmeasured genetic factors. The current analysis seeks to test this possibility. Additionally, we examine whether the covariation between self-control and victimization persists once genetic effects are held constant. Our findings suggest a nuanced explanation for the relationship between self-control and experiences of victimization.
    Journal of Adolescence 08/2013; 36(4):657-666. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The association between psychopathy and crime is established, but the specific components of the personality disorders that most contribute to crime are largely unknown. Drawing on data from 723 confined delinquents in Missouri, the present study delved into the eight subscales of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Short Form to empirically assess the specific aspects of the disorder that are most responsible for explaining variation in career delinquency. Blame externalization emerged as the strongest predictor of career delinquency in ordinary least squares regression, logistic regression, and t-test models. Fearlessness and carefree nonplanfulness were also significant in all models. Other features of psychopathy, such as stress immunity, social potency, and coldheartedness were weakly and inconsistently predictive of career delinquency. Implications of these findings for the study of psychopathy and delinquent careers are discussed in this article.
    International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 07/2013; · 0.84 Impact Factor
  • Joseph A Schwartz, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Fighting-related injuries are common among adolescents within the United States, but how such injuries relate to subsequent cognitive functioning remains unclear. In particular, the long-term effect of fighting-related injuries suffered during important developmental periods, such as adolescence, on subsequent cognitive functioning has been overlooked by previous studies. The purpose of this study is to examine the association between sustaining serious fighting-related injuries and changes in verbal intelligence (IQ) over a 5- to 6-year time period. Longitudinal multivariate statistical models were used to analyze data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health collected between 1994 and 2002 and analyzed in 2013. Even a single fighting-related injury resulted in a significant reduction in IQ over time even after controlling for age, race, sex, and changes in socioeconomic status (SES) over the study period. Additionally, females experienced a significantly greater reduction in IQ from each fighting-related injury than males. Fighting-related injuries have a significant impact on subsequent cognitive functioning and intelligence. The implications for future policies and research are discussed in more detail.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2013; · 2.97 Impact Factor
  • Joseph A Schwartz, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Research has revealed that despite many similarities, siblings raised within the same household have also been found to be markedly different from one another. Behavioral differences between siblings have been primarily attributed to differential exposure to a wide variety of environmental influences. The potential role that between-sibling genetic differences play in the development of behavioral differences has been overlooked in the extant literature. The current study examines the association between differences in three dopaminergic polymorphisms (DAT1, DRD2, and DRD4) and differences in arrest, incarceration, and multiple arrests between siblings. Between-sibling difference scores were estimated for each examined polymorphism and each criminal justice outcome measure (along with all controls). Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models were estimated to examine the potential association between genetic differences between siblings and differences in experiences within the criminal justice system. Models were estimated for the full sample and then for the same-sex male and female subsamples separately. The results provide preliminary evidence that between-sibling differences in some of the examined dopaminergic polymorphisms are associated with differences in contact with the criminal justice system. Findings are discussed in more detail and suggestions for future research are also provided.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 07/2013; · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Kevin M. Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Selective attrition is a potentially serious problem that can bias the findings that are generated from longitudinal samples. Although the extent to which IQ might be involved in selective attrition has been studied, the results from these studies have been decidedly mixed. The current study adds to the literature examining the link between IQ and selective attrition by examining four waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Analysis of these data revealed that IQ is related to attrition, with lower IQ respondents more likely to drop out of the study when compared against higher IQ respondents. The evidence suggests that dropouts score about 4.5 IQ points lower than subjects who did not drop out. Limitations of the study are noted and directions for future research are discussed.
    Personality and Individual Differences 07/2013; 55(2):157–161. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current study used a variable- and person-centered approach to examine whether a DRD4 polymorphism explained within-individual differences in frequency of marijuana use from adolescence into emerging adulthood. Data were analyzed from 1897 respondents from the genetic subsample of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) at waves I (ages 13-17), II (ages 14-18), and III (ages 21-25). Latent class growth model results revealed that marijuana use was characterized by four trajectories (non-users/experimenters, increasers, desisters, and chronic users), and that the DRD4 polymorphism differentiated increasers from non-users/experimenters. Overall, the results suggested that the DRD4 polymorphism may be relevant to differences in the developmental trajectories of marijuana use.
    Psychiatry research. 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Drawing on a sample of twin children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; Snow et al., 2009), the current study analyzed 2 of the most prominent predictors of externalizing behavioral problems (EBP) in children: (a) parental use of spankings and (b) childhood self-regulation. A variety of statistical techniques were employed, and, overall, the findings can be summarized into 2 points. First, the results show that the relationships among spanking, self-regulation, and EBP are highly nuanced in that multiple explanations for their intercorrelations appear to fit the data (e.g., bidirectional relationships and shared methods variance). Second, genetic influences accounted for variance in each variable (EBP, spankings received, self-regulation) and even explained a portion of the covariance among the different variables. Thus, research that does not consider genetic influences when analyzing these associations runs a risk of model misspecification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Developmental Psychology 03/2013; · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    Kevin M Beaver, Michael G Vaughn, Matt Delisi
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    ABSTRACT: An emerging body of empirical research has revealed that nonshared environmental factors are associated with explaining variance in measures of psychopathy and psychopathic personality traits. The current study adds to this existing knowledge base by analyzing a measure of psychopathy derived, in part, from the five factor model in a sample of monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The results of the MZ twin difference scores analysis revealed that nonshared environmental factors found within the family were unrelated to between-twin differences in psychopathic personality traits. Only one nonshared factor-levels of self-control-consistently predicted psychopathy. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and the limitations of our study.
    Psychiatric Quarterly 02/2013; · 1.26 Impact Factor
  • Kevin M. Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Research has revealed that crime tends to concentrate in families and that it also tends to be transmitted across generational lines. The current study expanded on this line of research by examining the familial concentration and transmission of crime in a sample of sibling pairs. Analysis of data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) revealed that 5% of all families accounted for more than 50% of all criminal arrests. Additional analyses revealed between-sibling similarity and intergenerational transmission in being arrested, being sentenced to probation, being incarcerated, and being arrested multiple times. Structural equation models (SEMs) were also estimated to examine the mechanisms that might account for the familial concentration and transmission of crime. These SEMs provided evidence indicating that the concentration and transmission of crime was due, in part, to genetic factors as well as mating patterns.
    Criminal Justice and Behavior 02/2013; 40(2):139-155. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study of human crime and violence represents a flashpoint for discussion across academia. Multiple theories exist pertaining to the topic, all aimed at organizing numerous findings surrounding correlates of antisocial behavior. Along these lines, Moffitt's developmental taxonomy has emerged as a theory well supported by empirical research. Noticeably absent, though, has been an effort to apply an evolutionary framework to Moffitt's dual taxonomy of offending. With this in mind, the current study is intended to examine Moffitt's different typologies in the context of Rushton's Differential K theory (an adaptation of r-K selection from life history theory). Our findings suggest that life-course persistent offending may represent a viable reproductive strategy characterized by higher levels of sexual involvement over the life-course.
    Journal of Theoretical Biology 01/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    J C Barnes, Kevin M Beaver, Brian B Boutwell
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    ABSTRACT: On September 11, 2001, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in US history took place on American soil and people around the world were impacted in myriad ways. Building on prior literature which suggests individuals are more likely to purchase a gun for self-protection if they are fearful of being victimized, the authors hypothesized that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 would lead to an increase in gun carrying among US residents. At the same time, a line of research has shown that a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene (i.e., 5-HTTLPR) interacts with environmental stressors to predict a range of psychopathologies and behaviors. Thus, it was hypothesized that 9/11 and 5-HTTLPR would interact to predict gun carrying. The results supported both hypotheses by revealing a positive association between 9/11 and gun carrying (b = .426, odds ratio = 1.531, standard error for b = .194, z = 2.196, p = .028) in the full sample of respondents (n = 15,052) and a statistically significant interaction between 9/11 and 5-HTTLPR in the prediction of gun carrying (b = -1.519, odds ratio = .219, standard error for b = .703, z = -2.161, p = .031) in the genetic subsample of respondents (n = 2,350). This is one of the first studies to find an association between 9/11 and gun carrying and, more importantly, is the first study to report a gene-environment interaction (GxE) between a measured gene and a terrorist attack.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70807. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    J C Barnes, Brian B Boutwell, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Social scientists have a rich tradition of uncovering the neighborhood, structural, and ecological cor-relates of human behavior. Results from this body of evidence have revealed that living in disadvantaged communities portends myriad negative outcomes, including antisocial behaviors. Though it has long been ar-gued that associations between neighborhood factors and individual-level outcomes may, at least partially, reflect genetic selection, a paucity of research has empirically investigated this possibility. Methods: The current study examined whether known genetic risk factors for antisocial behavior were predictive of exposure to disadvantage and violent crime measured at the county level. Drawing on genotypic data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a dopamine risk scale was created based on respondents' genotypes for DAT1, DRD2, and DRD4. County-level disadvantage was measured via Census data and violent crime rates were measured via the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. Results: Findings revealed that individuals with a greater number of dopamine risk alleles were more likely to live in a disadvantaged county and were more likely to live in a county with higher violent crime rates.
    Journal of Criminal Justice 01/2013; · 1.24 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

900 Citations
249.37 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2014
    • Florida State University
      • College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
      Tallahassee, Florida, United States
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • School of Social Work
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 2013
    • King Abdulaziz University
      Djidda, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
  • 2011–2013
    • Western Carolina University
      • Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
      Cullowhee, NC, United States
    • University of Texas at Dallas
      • School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
      Richardson, TX, United States
  • 2010–2013
    • Sam Houston State University
      • College of Criminal Justice
      Huntsville, Texas, United States
    • Birkbeck, University of London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009–2010
    • Saint Louis University
      • College for Public Health & Social Justice
      Saint Louis, MI, United States
  • 2005–2010
    • University of Cincinnati
      • School of Criminal Justice
      Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 2008
    • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
      Wilmington, North Carolina, United States