Deviant Peer Affiliation and Problem Behavior: A Test of Genetic and Environmental Influences

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Abstract

This study uses a multitrait, multimethod (MTMM) approach to investigate the genetic and environmental etiologies of childhood deviant peer affiliation (DPA) and problem behavior (PROB). The variability of genetic and environmental estimates by agent and method is also examined. A total of 77 monozygotic and 72 dizygotic twin pairs and each twin's close friend were assessed. The informants included parents, teachers, and twins, and the methods involved questionnaire reports and coder ratings of videotaped dyadic interactions between each twin and their close friend. Twin intraclass correlations and univariate models attributed DPA and PROB to genetic, and shared and nonshared environmental effects. Parameter estimates differed by rater and method, however. Results accentuate the imperative to attend to method effects inherent in MTMM behavioral geneticresearch.

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