skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 236375 Find in a Library
Title: Genetic Origins of Psychopathic Personality Traits in Adult Males and Females: Results From an Adoption-Based Study
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:39  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2011  Pages:426-432
Author(s): Kevin M. Beaver; Meghan W. Rowland; Joseph A. Schwartz; Joseph L. Nedelec
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 7
Publisher: http://www.elsevier.com 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: An adoption-based research design was used to estimate genetic effects on psychopathic personality traits, which are some of the most consistent predictors of violent criminal involvement.
Abstract: The study results yielded two broad findings. First, in agreement with previous research, the multivariate models conducted in the full sample of adoptees revealed a statistically significant and positive association between having a criminal biological father and scores on the psychopathic personality traits scale. A significant link was also observed when the psychopathic personality traits scale was dichotomized at the 75th percentile and the 90th percentile. In contrast, however, there were no statistically significant associations between having a criminal biological mother and scores on the continuous psychopathic personality traits scale or the two dichotomous psychopathy scales. The second main finding of the study is that the genetic effect of having a criminal biological father on psychopathic personality traits was confined to males. Females who had a criminal biological father did not score significantly higher on the continuous psychopathic personality traits scale or the two dichotomous psychopathy scales. For males, however, there was a relatively strong association between having a criminal biological father and the continuous psychopathic personality traits scale. Having a criminal biological father increased the odds of scoring in the top 25 percent of the psychopathy scale by a factor of approximately 4.3, and having a criminal biological father increased the odds of scoring in the top 10 percent of the psychopathy scale by a factor greater than 8.5. Limitations in this study that should be addressed in future research are discussed. Data for this study came from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a four-wave study of a nationally representative sample of American youths who were attending middle or high school during the 1994-1995 school year. 4 tables, 2 figures, 49 references, and appended listing of items included in the psychopathic personality traits scale
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Crime causes theory; Psychopaths; Violence causes; Violent offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=258370

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.