Testing Moffitt's adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent taxonomy utilizing a behavioral genetic design: An adoption study of adolescent antisocial behavior
AuthorGilson, Michael S.
AdvisorMaggs, Jennifer L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe notion of adolescent antisocial behaviors being committed by qualitatively different adolescents, those who engage in antisocial behavior only during adolescence due to social influences and pressures and those who persist in antisocial behaviors throughout the lifespan due to pathological characteristics, is quite popular though not previously empirically tested. The present study tested Moffitt's (1993) dual taxonomy of antisocial behavior utilizing a full adoption design. The sample used in this study came from Cadoret's Iowa Adoption Studies, 1975-1982 (Cadoret, 1988). Parent reports of antisocial behaviors of adoptees in this sample (N = 387) were utilized to classify adoptees as either Adolescence Limited (AL) (N = 115) or Life-Course-Persistent (LCP) (N = 62). Central questions examined in this study were: (1) Are AL and LCP individuals independent of biological history of either psychopathology or antisocial personality? (2) Is there a differential genetic influence on AL and LCP individuals? and, (3) Does genetic influence differ by domain of antisocial behavior examined? Analyses indicated that AL and LCP classification was not independent of biological history of either psychopathology or antisocial personality disorder. Hierarchical regression analyses consistently indicated that AL and LCP classification predicted both parent reports of antisocial behavior and clinical assessments of adoptee antisocial personality. While AL/LCP Classification x Biological History interactions were not significant, logistic regression analyses consistently indicated that LCP individuals were significantly more likely to have a biological parent with a history of either psychopathology or antisocial personality than were AL individuals. Further support for the normative nature of AL antisocial behaviors was demonstrated by the finding that AL individuals were no more likely than those adolescents who did not engage in any antisocial behaviors to have a biological parent diagnosed with either psychopathology or antisocial personality. Analyses by domains of antisocial behavior revealed no significant differences between groups for aggressive behaviors but that LCP individuals were more likely to engage in substance use during adolescence than were AL individuals. Discussion focuses on the implications that the findings have for both subsequent research and intervention programs.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family and Consumer Sciences