Multivariate Behavior Genetic Analyses of Aggressive Behavior Subtypes
- 356 Downloads
This study examined the genetic and environmental architecture underlying aggressive behavior measured by the Life History of Aggression Questionnaire (LHA; Coccaro et al. 1997a). Following preliminary phenotypic factor analysis procedures, multivariate behavioral genetics models were fit to responses from 2,925 adult twins from the PennTwins cohort on five LHA items assessing lifetime frequency of temper tantrums, indirect aggression, verbal aggression, fighting, and physical assault. The best-fitting model was a 2-factor common pathway model, indicating that these five aggressive behaviors are underpinned by two distinct etiological factors with different genetic and nonshared environmental influences. Although there was evidence of significant sex differences, the structure of the two factors appeared to be quite similar in males and females, where General Aggression and Physical Aggression factors emerged. Heritability of these factors ranged from .37 to .57, and nonshared environmental effects ranged from .43 to .63. The results of this study highlight the heterogeneous nature of the aggression construct and the need to consider differences in genetic and environmental influences on individual aggressive behaviors in a multivariate context.
KeywordsAggressive behavior subtypes Multivariate behavioral genetics Genetic factor structure Heritability Sex differences
This study was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Grant R01 MH063262 to Emil F. Coccaro and an NIMH Mentored Scientist Career Development Award K01 MH068484 to Kristen C. Jacobson. We wish to thank Crystal Cole, Jing (Sam) Pan, Bing Chen, and the rest of the Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology Research Unit at the University of Chicago for their assistance in data collection and scoring. We are also grateful to the twins in the PennTwins Cohort for participating in this research.
- Achenbach TM (1991) Integrative guide to the 1991 CBCL/4–18, YSR, and TRF profiles. University of Vermont, Department of Psychology, Burlington, VTGoogle Scholar
- Asberg M (1994) Monomamine neurotransmitters in human aggressiveness and violence: a selective review. Crim Behav Ment Health 4:303–327Google Scholar
- Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Newman DL, Silva PA (1998) Behavioral observations at age 3 years predict adult psychiatric disorders: longitudinal evidence from a birth cohort. In: Herzig ME, Farber EA (eds) Annual progress in child psychiatry and child development. Brunner/Mazel Inc., Bristol, PA, pp 319–331Google Scholar
- Coie JD, Dodge KA (1998) Aggression and antisocial behavior. In: Eisenberg N, Damon W (eds) Handbook of child psychology, vol 3: social, emotional, and personality development. Wiley, New York, pp 779–862Google Scholar
- Frick PJ (1994) Family dysfunction and the disruptive behavior disorders: a review of recent empirical findings. In: Ollendick TH, Prinz RJ (eds) Advances in clinical child, vol 16. Plenum, New York, pp 203–226Google Scholar
- Muthén LK, Muthén BO (1998–2007) Mplus user’s guide, 5th edn. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & MuthénGoogle Scholar
- Neale M, Boker SM, Xie G, Maes HH (2003) Mx: statistical modeling, 6th edn. Department of Psychiatry, VCU Box 900126, Richmond, VA, 23298Google Scholar
- Pulkkinen L (1992) The path to adulthood for aggressively inclined girls. In: Björkqvist K, Niemelä P (eds) Of mice and women: aspects of female aggression. Academic Press, New York, pp 113–121Google Scholar
- Schwartz D, Dodge KA, Coie JD, Hubbard JA, Cillessen AHN, Lemerise EA., Bateman H (1998) Social-cognitive and behavioral correlates of aggression and victimization in boys’ play groups. J Abnorm Child Psychol 26:431–440Google Scholar
- Stouthamer-Loeber M, Loeber R (1989) The use of prediction data in understanding delinquency. In: Bond LA, Compas BE (eds) Primary prevention and promotion in the schools. Sage, Newbury Park, CA, pp 179–202Google Scholar