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The Intersection of Genes, the Environment, and Crime and Delinquency: A Longitudinal Study of Offending

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $20,000)

A small but rapidly growing body of literature recognizes the importance of certain genetic polymorphisms in the development of antisocial conduct. Typically, however, these genes, when examined in isolation, have very small effects on various measures of psychopathology, accounting for approximately 3-6 percent of the variation. At the same time, other factors, especially those derived from environmental conditions, are often overlooked and not directly controlled for empirically. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health)'a large nationally representative and longitudinal sample of adolescents'we examine the direct effects that certain polymorphisms have on delinquent and young adult criminal behavior, net of parenting measures, neighborhood characteristics, and other variables tapping the social environment. We also extend and build upon the extant literature by examining the ways in which the social environment mediates or interacts with different genetic polymorphisms.

Date Created: March 27, 2006