Send to

Choose Destination
Twin Res Hum Genet. 2007 Feb;10(1):136-50.

Genetic and cultural transmission of antisocial behavior: an extended twin parent model.

Author information

Department of Human Genetics, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0003, USA.


Considerable evidence from twin and adoption studies indicates that both genetic and shared environmental factors play a substantial role in the liability to antisocial behavior. Although twin and adoption designs can resolve genetic and environmental influences, they do not provide information about assortative mating, parent-offspring transmission, or the contribution of these factors to trait variation. We examined the role of genetic and environmental factors for conduct disorder (CD) using a twin-parent design. This design allows the simultaneous estimation of additive genetic, shared and individual-specific environmental effects, as well as sex differences in the expression of genes and environment in the presence of assortative mating and combined genetic and cultural transmission. A retrospective measure of CD was obtained from twins and their parents or guardians in the Virginia Twin Study of Adolescent Behavior Development and its Young Adult Follow up sample. Both genetic and environmental factors play a significant role in the liability to CD. Major influences on individual differences appeared to be additive genetic (38%-40%) and unique environmental (39%-42%) effects, with smaller contributions from the shared environment (18%-23%), assortative mating (-2%), cultural transmission (approximately 2%) and resulting genotype-environment covariance. This study showed significant heritability, which is slightly increased by assortative mating, and significant effects of primarily nonparental shared environment on CD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center