Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 325–334 | Cite as

A Biosocial Interaction Between Prenatal Exposure to Cigarette Smoke and Family Structure in the Prediction of Psychopathy in Adolescence

  • Kevin M. Beaver
  • Matt DeLisi
  • Michael G. Vaughn
Original Paper


Although a great deal of empirical research has examined the association between psychopathic personality traits and antisocial phenotypes, comparatively less empirical research has examined the factors that might contribute to the development of psychopathy. In an attempt to shed some light on this gap in the literature, the current study explored the biosocial correlates to adolescent psychopathy in a sample of youths. Analysis of data drawn from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care revealed that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke was associated with higher scores on the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory. Interestingly, prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke only was related to psychopathy for youths who were raised in a two-parent household; there was not association for youths who were raised in a single-parent household. Reasons for this finding are provided and avenues for future research are discussed.


Biosocial Family structure Prenatal exposure to tobacco Psychopathy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin M. Beaver
    • 1
  • Matt DeLisi
    • 2
  • Michael G. Vaughn
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Criminology and Criminal JusticeFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  3. 3.School of Social Work, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthSaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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