Sex differences in the etiology of aggressive and nonaggressive antisocial behavior: results from two twin studies

Child Dev. Jan-Feb 1999;70(1):155-68. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00012.

Abstract

Recent theory and results from twin and adoption studies of children and adolescents suggest greater genetic influence on aggressive as compared to nonaggressive antisocial behavior. In addition, quantitative or qualitative differences in the etiology of these behaviors in males and females have been indicated in the literature. The Child Behavior Checklist was completed by the parents of 1022 Swedish twin pairs aged 7-9 years and of 501 British twin pairs aged 8-16 years. Genetic factors influenced aggressive antisocial behavior to a far greater extent than nonaggressive antisocial behavior, which was also significantly influenced by the shared environment. There was a significant sex difference in the etiology of nonaggressive antisocial behavior. Bivariate analyses supported the conclusion that the etiologies of aggressive and nonaggressive antisocial behavior differ for males and females.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aggression*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / genetics
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Twins / psychology*