Assessing the salience of gene-environment interplay in the development of anger, family conflict, and physical violence: A biosocial test of General Strain Theory

Eric Joseph Connolly, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Agnew (2014) has recently called for future research on General Strain Theory (GST) to focus on examining the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in order to more accurately understand the developmental origins of antisocial behavior. The current study aimed to answer this call by using kinship pair data from a longitudinal population-based sample. Methods: Behavioral genetic methods were used to assess gene-environment interplay between anger, family conflict, and violence using a subsample of kinship pairs drawn from the Child and Young Adult Supplement of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Results: Results revealed a significant shared genetic liability for anger and exposure to family conflict indicating gene-environment correlation (. rGE). After controlling for rGE, nonshared environmental effects on anger were found to be stronger at higher levels of family conflict implying that family conflict experiences unique to each sibling were involved in creating individual differences in anger. Results also suggested that genetic and nonshared environmental effects accounted for the longitudinal association between anger and physical violence. Conclusions: Findings from the current study underscore the importance of using genetically informed methodologies to identify underlying risk factors involved in both exposure and response to different forms of strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-497
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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