Siblings and Adolescent Weapon Carrying: Contributions of Genetics, Shared Environment, and Nonshared Environment

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Abstract

Many past studies have observed evidence of sibling similarity and influence for delinquency and substance use. However, studies of sibling similarity for adolescent weapon carrying, particularly for weapons beyond firearms, are largely absent from the literature. The present study assesses sibling similarity in weapon carrying as well as the relative contributions of genetics, shared environment, and nonshared environment. Data are obtained from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and analyzed using biometrical genetic models for twins and actor–partner interdependence models for nontwins. Results indicate little, if any, contribution stemming from genetics. There is also no evidence of a significant shared environment effect. Instead, all or nearly all of the variation and similarity in weapon carrying among siblings are related to the nonshared environment, particularly gang affiliation. Implications and possible extensions of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-280
Number of pages17
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law

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