Kevin M Beaver

King Abdulaziz University, Djidda, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

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Publications (203)323.73 Total impact

  • Dylan B Jackson, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: A large body of research has revealed that nutrition and physical activity influence brain functioning at various stages of the life course. Nevertheless, very few studies have explored whether diet and exercise influence verbal intelligence as youth transition from adolescence into young adulthood. Even fewer studies have explored the link between these health behaviors and verbal intelligence while accounting for genetic and environmental factors that are shared between siblings. Employing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the current study uses a sample of same-sex twin pairs to test whether youth who engage in poorer fitness and nutritional practices are significantly more likely to exhibit reduced verbal intelligence during young adulthood. The results suggests that, independent of the effects of genetic and shared environmental factors, a number of nutritional and exercise factors during adolescence influence verbal intelligence during adulthood. Limitations are noted and suggestions for future research are outlined.
    International journal of environmental research and public health. 01/2015; 12(1):385-401.
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    Eric J Connolly, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence from longitudinal research suggests that bullied children are more likely to develop antisocial tendencies and mental health problems later in life. Less research, however, has used genetically sensitive research designs to control for genetic confounding and examine whether the well-supported association between bullying victimization and maladaptive development is partially accounted for by common genetic and environmental influences. Using sibling data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, the current study used a series of bivariate liability-threshold models to disentangle the genetic and environmental influences on observed covariance between repeated bullying victimization, delinquent involvement, and symptoms of depression/anxiety. Results revealed that common additive genetic and nonshared environmental effects accounted for the covariance in liability between bullying victimization and delinquent involvement as well as bullying victimization and symptoms of depression/anxiety. The results suggest the presence of genotype-environment correlation (rGE) between repeated victimization and maladaptive development. © The Author(s) 2014.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 12/2014; · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Many criminological scholars explore the social causes of crime while giving little consideration to the possibility that genetic factors underlie the observed associations. Indeed, the standard social science method (SSSM) assumes genetic influences do not confound the association between X and Y. Yet, a nascent stream of evidence has questioned the validity of this approach by revealing many criminological variables are at least partially affected by genetic influences. As a result, a substantial proportion of the literature may be misspecified due to uncontrolled genetic factors. No effort has been made to directly estimate the extent to which genetic confounding has biased the associations presented in criminological studies. Methods The present study seeks to address this issue by drawing on simulated datasets. Results/Conclusions Results suggest genetic confounding may account for a negligible portion of the relationship between X and Y when their correlation (ryx) is larger than the correlation between genetic factors and Y (i.e., ryx > ryg). Genetic confounding appears to be much more problematic when the correlation between X and Y is in the moderate-to-small range (e.g., ryx = .20) and the genetic effect is in the moderate-to-large range (e.g., ryg ≥ .30).
    Journal of Criminal Justice 12/2014; 42(6):471–482. · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • Joseph A. Schwartz, Kevin M. Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Failing to deal with missing data patterns effectively may result in biased parameter estimates and ultimately may produce inaccurate results and conclusions. The vast majority of criminological research has addressed this issue with listwise deletion (LD) and multiple imputation (MI) techniques. Identifying the specific covariates that directly contribute to patterns of missingness is highly important in deciding which technique to use. One of the more surprising omissions from the identified list of covariates is the potential role of genetic influences in the development of missingness. Methods The current study addresses this gap in the literature by estimating genetic (A), shared environmental (C), and the nonshared environmental (E) influences on missingness across measures of delinquency and self-control within a longitudinal sample of twin and sibling pairs. Results The results indicated that genetic influences explain a significant portion of the variance in missing values related to both delinquency and self-control. Conclusions Current methodological techniques aimed at addressing missing data should be amended to take genetic influences into account. Such modifications and the implications of the findings for future research are discussed.
    Journal of Criminal Justice 12/2014; 42(6):452–461. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To date, most research has indicated that there is a positive, yet small, association between the general factor of personality (GFP) and general intelligence (g). The premise of the current study was that this relationship could be underestimated due to the measures used to compute a GFP and the failure to control for a social desirability response bias. These possible attenuating factors were examined through the analysis of an extensive data file of prisoners. The GFP was significantly correlated with g and this association was stronger with more extensive tests of g, with a California Personality Inventory based GFP in comparison to a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory based GFP, and when socially desirable responding was included as a statistical control. Additional analyses also revealed that the GFP shows Jensen Effects, the stronger the g loaded the scale the stronger its correlation with the GFP. A similar trend was found when examining the strength of the correlations between g and the personality scales. The higher a personality scale loaded on the GFP, the stronger it tended to correlate with g. The results may be informative as to the underlying basis for the GFP.
    Intelligence 11/2014; 47:72–82. · 2.67 Impact Factor
  • Joseph A Schwartz, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Academic achievement has been found to have a pervasive and substantial impact on a wide range of developmental outcomes and has also been implicated in the critical transition from adolescence into early adulthood. Previous research has revealed that self-reported grades tend to diverge from official transcript grade point average (GPA) scores, with students being more likely to report inflated scores. Making use of a sample of monozygotic twin (N = 282 pairs), dizygotic twin (N = 441 pairs), and full sibling (N = 1,757 pairs) pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; 65 % White; 50 % male; mean age = 16.14), the current study is the first to investigate the role that genetic and environmental factors play in misreporting grade information. A comparison between self-reported GPA (mean score of 2.86) and official transcript GPA scores (mean score of 2.44) revealed that self-reported scores were approximately one-half letter grade greater than official scores. Liability threshold models revealed that additive genetic influences explained between 40 and 63 % of the variance in reporting inflated grades and correctly reporting GPA, with the remaining variance explained by the nonshared environment. Conversely, 100 % of the variance in reporting deflated grade information was explained by nonshared environmental influences. In an effort to identify specific nonshared environmental influences on reporting accuracy, multivariate models that adequately control for genetic influences were estimated and revealed that siblings with lower transcript GPA scores were significantly less likely to correctly report their GPA and significantly more likely to report inflated GPA scores. Additional analyses revealed that verbal IQ and self-control were not significantly associated with self-reported GPA accuracy after controlling for genetic influences. These findings indicate that previous studies that implicate verbal IQ and self-control as significant predictors of misreporting grade information may have been the result of model misspecification and genetic confounding. The findings from the current study indicate that genetic influences play a crucial role in the accuracy in which grade information is reported, but that nonshared environmental influences also play a significant role in specific circumstances. The theoretical and methodological implications of the results are discussed.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 09/2014; · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: School disengagement is associated with poor academic achievement, dropout, and risk behaviors such as truancy, delinquency, and substance use. Despite empirical research identifying risk correlates of school disengagement across the ecology, it is unclear from which domain these correlates arise. To redress this issue, the current study used intraclass correlation and DeFries-Fulker analyses to longitudinally decompose variance in three domains of engagement (academic, behavioral, and emotional engagement), based on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Findings support that nonshared environmental factors account for approximately half of the variance in indicators of school disengagement while controlling for genetic influences and that this variance increases as adolescents grow older and rely less on their immediate family. The present study contributes new evidence on the biosocial underpinnings of school engagement and highlights the importance of interventions targeting factors in the nonshared environment.
    Social work research 09/2014; 38(3):164-176. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Psychopathy and psychopathic personality traits (PPT) have been linked to a long list of negative life outcomes. To date, however, few studies have provided a systematic analysis of whether psychopathic personality traits contribute to increased health burden. The current study was designed to address this gap in the literature. Method This study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and employed a measure of PPT derived from the five-factor model of personality. Analyses were conducted using OLS, logistic, and Poisson regression techniques. Results The results revealed that relatively higher scores on psychopathic personality traits were associated with a slight increase in a wide range of negative health outcomes. These significant associations were detected for both males and females. Conclusions We speak to the importance of these findings for the potential to reduce health burden among psychopaths and those who score relatively high on measures of psychopathic personality traits.
    Journal of Criminal Justice 09/2014; 42(5):399–407. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The association between family/parenting and offspring IQ remains the matter of debate because of threats related to genetic confounding. The current study is designed to shed some light on this association by examining the influence of parenting influences on adolescent and young adult IQ scores. To do so, a nationally representative sample of youth is analyzed along with a sample of adoptees. The sample of adoptees is able to more fully control for genetic confounding. The results of the study revealed that there is only a marginal and inconsistent influence of parenting on offspring IQ in adolescence and young adulthood. These weak associations were detected in both the nationally representative sample and the adoptee subsample. Sensitivity analyses that focused only on monozygotic twins also revealed no consistent associations between parenting/family measures and verbal intelligence. Taken together, the results of these statistical models indicate that family and parenting characteristics are not significant contributors to variation in IQ scores. The implications of this study are discussed in relation to research examining the effects of family/parenting on offspring IQ scores.
    Intelligence 09/2014; 46:179–187. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a recent article published in Criminology, Burt and Simons (2014) claimed that the statistical violations of the classical twin design render heritability studies useless. Claiming quantitative genetics is “fatally flawed” and describing the results generated from these models as “preposterous,” Burt and Simons took the unprecedented step to call for abandoning heritability studies and their constituent findings. We show that their call for an “end to heritability studies” was premature, misleading, and entirely without merit. Specifically, we trace the history of behavioral genetics and show that 1) the Burt and Simons critique dates back 40 years and has been subject to a broad array of empirical investigations, 2) the violation of assumptions in twin models does not invalidate their results, and 3) Burt and Simons created a distorted and highly misleading portrait of behavioral genetics and those who use quantitative genetic approaches.
    Criminology 09/2014; · 2.47 Impact Factor
  • Dylan B Jackson, Kevin M Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: A number of studies have revealed that low birth weight children have a heightened risk of various maladaptive outcomes, including academic challenges and delinquent involvement. However, very little research to date has examined whether the relationship between low birth weight, poor academic performance, and delinquent peer affiliation is moderated by genetic risk. Using data from the National Longitudinal study of Adolescent Health, the present study examines whether male adolescents born at very low birth weights are significantly predisposed to poor academic performance and delinquent peer affiliation. Moreover, we test whether the effect of birth weight on these outcomes is conditioned by level of genetic risk. We find no evidence that very low birth weight males are more likely to affiliate with delinquent peers or perform poorly in school during adolescence. However, upon examining gene-environment interactions, we find that being born at a very low birth weight does significantly increase the odds of poor academic performance and delinquent peer affiliation among males who possess a higher level of genetic risk. Limitations are noted and the implications of the findings are discussed.
    International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 08/2014; · 0.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psychopathic personality traits have consistently been found to predict a range of negative and dysfunctional outcomes. As a result, it is somewhat surprising that the research to date has failed to empirically examine the potential association between psychopathic personality traits and parenting quality. The current study addressed this omission in the literature by analyzing a community sample of adults. The results revealed that respondents scoring higher on psychopathic personality traits tended to report more negative parenting quality. These results were detected for both males and females and remained significant even after controlling for the effects of parental transmission and child-effects. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a statistically significant association between psychopathic personality traits and parenting quality. We conclude with a discussion of what these findings mean for psychopathy research and the parenting the literature.
    Psychiatric Quarterly 08/2014; · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low cholesterol levels have been found to be associated with a wide range of behavioral problems, including violent and criminal behavior, and a wide range of psychological problems including impulsivity, depression, and other internalizing problems. The casual mechanisms underlying these associations remain largely unknown, but genetic factors may play a role in the etiology of such associations as previous research has found significant genetic influence on cholesterol levels and various deleterious behavioral and psychological outcomes. The current study addressed this existing gap in the literature by performing a genetically sensitive test of the association between cholesterol levels and various outcomes including levels of self-control, depressive symptoms, anger expression, and neuroticism.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 08/2014; 164C:139-147. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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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 07/2014; 38:41–49. · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a lack of research that has examined public opinion on the importance of biosocial influences for understanding the potential causes of criminal and delinquent involvement. We address this gap in the current study by surveying a nationally representative sample of adults about the importance of biosocial factors for influencing criminal behavior. Results indicate that the public believes the environment matters more than genetic factors for determining whether someone becomes a criminal. However, the data also reveal an overall acceptance of the importance of neuropsychological factors for influencing criminal behavior. An ordered logistic regression analysis was also estimated to examine potential differences in opinion across demographic categories. The results revealed that income, gender, marital status, and employment status are significantly associated with whether a respondent supports the role of biosocial factors in crime causation. Implications of the findings are discussed.
    Journal of Criminal Justice Education 07/2014; 25(3).
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    Eric J. Connolly, Kevin M. Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Handgun and gang violence represent two important threats to public safety. Although several studies have examined the factors that increase the risk for gang membership and handgun carrying, few studies have explored the biosocial underpinnings to the development of both gang involvement and carrying a handgun. The current study addressed this gap in the literature by using kinship data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to estimate the genetic and environmental effects on gang membership, handgun carrying, and the covariance between the two. Results revealed that genetic and nonshared environmental influences accounted for much of the association between gang membership and handgun carrying. Implications of these findings for future gang research are discussed.
    Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 06/2014; · 1.37 Impact Factor
  • Joseph L. Nedelec, Kevin M. Beaver
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    ABSTRACT: Evolutionary explanations regarding the differential preference for particular traits hold that preferences arose due to traits’ association with increased potential for reproductive fitness. Assessments of physical attractiveness have been shown to be related to perceived and measured levels of health, an important fitness-related trait. Despite the robust association between physical attractiveness and health observed in the extant literature, a number of theoretical and methodological concerns remain. Specifically, the research in this area possesses a lack of specificity in terms of measures of health, a reliance on artificial social interactions in assessing physical attractiveness, a relatively infrequent use of non-student samples, and has left unaddressed the confounding effects of raters of attractiveness. Using these concerns as a springboard, the current study employed data from the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health (N ≈ 15,000; aged 25 to 34 years) to assess the relationship between physical attractiveness and various specific and overall measures of health. Logistic and OLS regression models illustrated a robust association between physical attractiveness and various measures of health, controlling for a variety of confounding factors. In sum, the more attractive a respondent was rated, the less likely he or she was to report being diagnosed with a wide range of chronic diseases and neuropsychological disorders. Importantly, this finding was observed for both sexes. These analyses provide further support for physical attractiveness as a phenotypic marker of health. The findings are discussed in reference to evolutionary theory and the limitations of the study and future research suggestions are also addressed.
    Evolution and Human Behavior 06/2014; · 2.87 Impact Factor
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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 05/2014; · 1.24 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 05/2014; · 1.24 Impact Factor
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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 03/2014; 111C:17-24. · 2.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
323.73 Total Impact Points


  • 2013–2014
    • King Abdulaziz University
      Djidda, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
  • 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
  • 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
    • University of Texas at San Antonio
      • Department of Criminal Justice
      San Antonio, 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