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Psychiatr Q. 2010 Dec;81(4):325-34. doi: 10.1007/s11126-010-9141-3.

A biosocial interaction between prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke and family structure in the prediction of psychopathy in adolescence.

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  • 1College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 634 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1122, USA.


Although a great deal of empirical research has examined the association between psychopathic personality traits and antisocial phenotypes, comparatively less empirical research has examined the factors that might contribute to the development of psychopathy. In an attempt to shed some light on this gap in the literature, the current study explored the biosocial correlates to adolescent psychopathy in a sample of youths. Analysis of data drawn from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care revealed that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke was associated with higher scores on the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory. Interestingly, prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke only was related to psychopathy for youths who were raised in a two-parent household; there was not association for youths who were raised in a single-parent household. Reasons for this finding are provided and avenues for future research are discussed.

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