An Investigation of Genetic and Environmental Influences Across the Distribution of Self-Control

Joseph A. Schwartz, Eric J. Connolly, Joseph L. Nedelec, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous research illustrating a robust, negative association between self-control and various forms of delinquent and criminal behavior has resulted in a more concentrated focus on the etiological development of self-control. The current study aims to contribute to this literature using a sample of twin and sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to examine genetic and shared environmental influences across levels of self-control. The results of modified DeFries–Fulker (DF) equations revealed that genetic and shared environmental influences were distributed in a nonlinear pattern across levels of self-control. Subsequent biometric quantile regression models revealed that genetic influences on self-control were maximized in the 50th and 60th percentiles, and minimized in the tails of the distribution. Shared environmental influences were nonsignificant at all examined quantiles of self-control with only one exception. The theoretical importance of utilizing genetically informed modeling strategies is discussed in more detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1182
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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