Antisocial Behavior

Blazei, R.W., Iacono, W.G. & Krueger, R.F. (2006) Intergenerational Transmission of Antisocial Behavior: How do Kids become Antisocial Adults. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 11, 230-253.

Exposure to many potential environmental risk factors for child antisocial behavior is associated with one of the strongest predictors of antisocial behavior, a family history of antisociality. Because most studies of putative environmental factors do not take into account genetic propensities for antisocial behavior shared between parent and child, the possibility of genetic contributions to these “environmental” markers is typically not evaluated. In this paper, we review research on the environmental correlates of antisociality, their association with parental antisociality, and highlight findings from studies that have controlled for either genetic propensities or parental antisociality.
© 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Herndon, R.W. & Iacono, W.G. (2005). Psychiatric Disorders in the Children of Antisocial Parents. Psychological Medicine, 35,1815-1824.

Background. Although parents with psychiatric disorders are likely to have children with psychiatric problems, the nature of disorder risk to offspring of antisocial parents has received limited attention.
Method. We examined the prevalence of common externalizing and internalizing disorders in the pre-adolescent and late adolescent offspring of antisocial parents. Lifetime diagnoses for a sample of 11-year-old twins (958 males, 1042 females) and a sample of 17-year-old twins (1332 males, 1434 females), as well as their parents, were obtained through in-person interviews. Odds ratios were calculated for the effect of the parent’s diagnosis on the child’s diagnosis, controlling for the effect of the co-parent’s diagnosis.
Results. We found that parental antisociality places the child at increased risk for developing a range of externalizing and internalizing disorders. This increase is evident by pre-adolescence and extends to a wide range of disorders by late adolescence. Each parent has an e.ect net any effects of the co-parent.
Conclusions. Antisocial parents have children who have an increased likelihood of developing a broad range of psychiatric disorders.

Marmorstein, N.R. & Iacono, W.G. (2005). Longitudinal Follow-Up of Adolescents with Late-Onset Antisocial Behavior: A Pathological Yet Overlooked Group. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 1284-1291.

Objective: Antisocial behavior that begins in mid- to late adolescence does not .t into commonly accepted taxonomies of antisocial behavior, yet it clearly exists. This study examined how this course of antisocial behavior compares with persisting (beginning by early adolescence and continuing through late adolescence) and desisting (stopping by mid-adolescence) antisocial behavior in terms of risk for later substance dependence and background risk factors (gender, IQ, socioeconomic status, parental antisocial behavior, and parental divorce).
Method: A population-based sample of twins from the Minnesota Twin Family Study, evaluated at ages 17 and 20, was used.
Results: The results indicated that youths with late onsets were similar to those with persisting antisocial behavior and that both groups were at higher risk of later nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis dependence than controls; both also had similarly high levels of background risk factors. The late-onset group included a significant overrepresentation of females, whereas the persisting and desisting groups included more males.
Conclusions: Late-onset antisocial behavior has many of the same negative correlates of persisting antisocial behavior but includes significantly more females. Although they are excluded from the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, these youths have clinically significant problems similar to those with this diagnosis.
J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 2005;44(12):1284–1291.


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