Environmental contributions to the stability of antisocial behavior over time: Are they shared or non-shared?

S. Alexandra Burt, Matt McGue, William G. Iacono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


It has recently been argued that shared environmental influences are moderate, identifiable, and persistent sources of individual differences in most forms of child and adolescent psychopathology, including antisocial behavior. Unfortunately, prior studies examining the stability of shared environmental influences over time were limited by possible passive gene-environment correlations, shared informants effects, and/or common experiences of trauma. The current study sought to address each of these limitations. We examined adolescent self-reported antisocial behavior in a 3.5 year longitudinal sample of 610 biological and adoptive sibling pairs from the Sibling Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS). Results revealed that 74-81% of shared environmental influences present at time 1 were also present at time 2, whereas most non-shared environmental influences (88-89%) were specific to a particular assessment period. Such results provide an important constructive replication of prior research, strongly suggesting that shared environmental contributions to antisocial behavior are systematic in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgment This research was funded by USPHS Grants # AA11886 and MH066140.


  • Antisocial behavior
  • Non-shared environment
  • Shared environment
  • Stability


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