Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 145–168 | Cite as

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Delinquency: DF Analysis of NLSY Kinship Data

  • Joseph Lee Rodgers
  • Maury Buster
  • David C. Rowe


This paper follows earlier research (Rowe et al., 1992) in evaluating the basis of family influences on adolescent delinquent behavior. Delinquency is measured in a number of different ways to account for important theoretical distinctions that exist in the delinquency literature. We use recently identified kinship structure in a large national data set—the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth—to estimate genetic and shared environmental influences on self-reported delinquency scores. Our analytic model is based on DF analysis, a regression procedure used to estimate parameters reflecting genetic and environmental influence. Results suggest a consistent and moderate genetic basis to sibling similarity in delinquency and little evidence of a shared environmental basis. A large amount of variance is attributable to nonshared influences and/or measurement error. Our findings suggest that the search for environmental influences on adolescent delinquency should focus on those that are not shared by siblings.

delinquency genetic influences DF analysis heritability 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Lee Rodgers
    • 1
  • Maury Buster
    • 1
  • David C. Rowe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OklahomaNorman
  2. 2.Division of Family StudiesUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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