On the genetic and environmental reasons why intelligence correlates with criminal victimization

Brian B. Boutwell, Eric J. Connolly, Nicole Barbaro, Todd K. Shackelford, Melissa Petkovsek, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Researchers have expended considerable effort to understand the causes and correlates of criminal victimization. More recently, scholars have focused on identifying individual-level traits that increase the odds of victimization. Generally absent from this line of research, however, is examining the extent to which previously unmeasured genetic and environmental influences contribute to the covariation between victimization and individual-level risk factors. The current study aims to replicate and extend prior research by examining the contribution of genetic and environmental influences on the association between intelligence and victimization by analyzing twin and sibling data from two nationally representative samples of American youth. Quantitative genetic analyses indicate that common additive genetic factors, as well as non-shared environmental factors, explained the phenotypic association between intelligence and victimization. Finally, our results revealed that after correcting for possible familial confounding, the effect of intelligence on victimization experiences remained statistically significant. The findings of the current study replicate and extend prior research on the phenotypic association between indicators of general intelligence and the experience of victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
StatePublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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