Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 381–393

Nonshared Environmental Effects on Adulthood Psychopathic Personality Traits: Results from a Monozygotic Twin Difference Scores Analysis

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


An emerging body of empirical research has revealed that nonshared environmental factors are associated with explaining variance in measures of psychopathy and psychopathic personality traits. The current study adds to this existing knowledge base by analyzing a measure of psychopathy derived, in part, from the five factor model in a sample of monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The results of the MZ twin difference scores analysis revealed that nonshared environmental factors found within the family were unrelated to between-twin differences in psychopathic personality traits. Only one nonshared factor—levels of self-control—consistently predicted psychopathy. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and the limitations of our study.


Monozygotic twins Nonshared environment Psychopathic personality traits 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

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

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