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J Abnorm Psychol. 2007 Aug;116(3):554-64.

Delinquent peer affiliation and conduct problems: A twin study.

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Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.


Many putative environmental risks correlate with individuals' genotypes. The association between delinquent peer affiliation and conduct problems may occur because of shared genetic liability. Five hundred fifty three monozygotic and 558 dizygotic twin pairs, aged 11 to 18 years, were assessed for delinquent peer affiliation and conduct problems. The authors investigated whether genes contribute to both delinquent peer affiliation and the correlation between delinquent peer affiliations and conduct problems. Delinquent peer affiliation was influenced by genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental factors; genetic factors also contributed to the correlation between delinquent peer affiliations and conduct problems, providing evidence for genotype-environment correlation. The magnitude of the genetic variance of conduct problems was contextually dependent on levels of delinquent peer affiliation and was greater at higher levels of delinquent peer affiliation.

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