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The effects of delinquency and criminal behaviors during early adolescence on events over the life course have been well-established in the criminological research. A segment of this research has revealed that the apparent causal relationship between delinquency and later life course events may be due to a third exogenous confounding variable, namely: genetics. While biosocial research has illuminated the need to include recognition of the proportional influence of genetic factors and environmental factors the research lacks an overarching theoretical framework that allows precision in research and guidance for future research. An evolutionary approach may represent such a framework. Employing data from a large national sample of sibling pairs, this project seeks to assess this assertion by analyzing the influence of antisocial behaviors during adolescence on sexual and reproductive strategies over the life course. Three key findings emerged from the analyses. First, the majority of items tapping antisocial behavior and delinquency in adolescence, as well as measures of sexual, reproductive, and relationship behaviors in adulthood were shown to be influenced primarily by genetic and nonshared environmental factors. Second, multivariate analyses revealed that antisocial conduct during adolescence has an effect on sexual/reproductive outcomes in adulthood. However, when genetically sensitive methodologies are employed the association is significantly diminished. Third, even after controlling for the influence of shared genetic factors and shared environmental factors some forms of antisocial behavior in adolescence had an effect on sexual/reproductive behaviors across the life course. The findings are discussed within the context of life history theory and evolutionary psychology.
EVOLUTIONARY CRIMINOLOGY, EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, LIFE COURSE CRIMINOLOGY, LIFE HISTORY THEORY, REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOR, SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
Date of Defense
June 14, 2013.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Kevin M. Beaver, Professor Directing Dissertation; Lisa A. Eckel, University Representative; Eric P. Baumer, Committee Member; Eric A. Stewart, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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