[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There has been a significant amount of interest in understanding some of the key issues related to school suspensions and expulsions. One of the more intriguing and studied of these issues has to do with factors that contribute to variation in school disciplinary sanctions. To date, however, no research has examined the genetic architecture to either suspensions or expulsions. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing a sample of twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). The results of the analyses revealed that shared and nonshared environmental factors accounted for the variation in suspensions. Genetic influences, in contrast, were the dominant source of variation for expulsions. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and avenues for future research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: Agnew (2014) has recently called for future research on General Strain Theory (GST) to focus on examining the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in order to more accurately understand the developmental origins of antisocial behavior. The current study aimed to answer this call by using kinship pair data from a longitudinal population-based sample. Methods: Behavioral genetic methods were used to assess gene–environment interplay between anger, family conflict, and violence using a subsample of kinship pairs drawn from the Child and Young Adult Supplement of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Results: Results revealed a significant shared genetic liability for anger and exposure to family conflict indicating gene–environment correlation (rGE). After controlling for rGE, nonshared environmental effects on anger were found to be stronger at higher levels of family conflict implying that family conflict experiences unique to each sibling were involved in creating individual differences in anger. Results also suggested that genetic and nonshared environmental effects accounted for the longitudinal association between anger and physical violence. Conclusions: Findings from the current study underscore the importance of using genetically informed method-ologies to identify underlying risk factors involved in both exposure and response to different forms of strain.
[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: Objectives: Recent violent attacks on college campuses in the United States have sparked discussions regarding the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and the perpetration of violence among college students. While previous studies have examined the potential association between mental health problems and violent behavior, the overall pattern of findings flowing from this literature remain mixed and no previous studies have examined such associations among college students.
Methods: The current study makes use of a nationally representative sample of 3,929 college students from the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) to examine the prevalence of seven violent behaviors and 19 psychiatric disorder diagnoses tapping mood, anxiety, personality, and substance use disorders. Associations between individual and composite psychiatric disorder diagnoses and violent behaviors were also examined. Additional analyses were adjusted for the comorbidity of multiple psychiatric diagnoses.
Results: The results revealed that college students were less likely to have engaged in violent behavior relative to the non-student sample, but a substantial portion of college students had engaged in violent behavior. Age- and sex-standardized prevalence rates indicated that more than 21% of college students reported at least one violent act. In addition, more than 36% of college students had at least one diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Finally, the prevalence of one or more psychiatric disorders significantly increased the odds of violent behavior within the college student sample.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that violence and psychiatric disorders are prevalent on college campuses in the United States, though perhaps less so than in the general population. In addition, college students who have diagnosable psychiatric disorders are significantly more likely to engage in various forms of violent behavior.
PLoS ONE 07/2015; 10(10). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0138914 · 3.23 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: 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: 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: 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