Characteristics associated with the persistence of antisocial behavior: Results from recent longitudinal research

Irene J. Elkins, William G. Iacono, Alysa E. Doyle, Matt McGue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Findings from recent longitudinal studies regarding characteristics that may predict continuity or discontinuity in antisocial behavior are reviewed, including preliminary results from the Minnesota Twin Family Study, a population-based, longitudinal study of the development of substance abuse and associated psychological disorders. We conclude that compared to temporary antisocial behavior that desists following midadolescence, persistent antisocial behavior in adulthood is associated with lower IQ and achievement, more pathological personality characteristics, greater substance abuse, early progression along developmental pathways of antisocial behavior, and increased risk for conduct disorder in offspring. In addition, we suggest that in the future, increased attention may be warranted to individuals with unusually late onsets of severe antisocial behavior in late adolescence or early adulthood, because these individuals appear to share many of the same negative characteristics in adulthood as individuals with early onsets prior to adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-124
Number of pages24
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA 05147) and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA 09367 & AA00175).


  • Adulthood
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Antisocial personality
  • Conduct disorder
  • Juvenile delinquency


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