Friday, May 22, 2009

Genes and victimization

Genetically-influenced traits, such as low self-control can lead to youths taking part in delinquent behaviour. Taking part in delinquent behaviour means people associate with a more violent peer group and this can, in turn, lead to people being more likely to be victimized. Studies of twins allow researchers to separate out the influences of genetic and environmental factors and researchers at Florida State University studied a sample of male twins interviewed between 1994 and 1995. Participants were asked about their family life, social life, romantic relationships, hobbies, drug and alcohol use and victimization. The researchers found that genetic factors accounted for 40-45% of variation in adolescent victimization among the twins. However, among adolescents who were repeatedly victimized genetic factors accounted for 64% of the variation.

You can find out more about this research at

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