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Psychopathic personality development from ages 9 to 18: Genes and environment

  • Catherine Tuvblad (a1) (a2), Pan Wang (a1), Serena Bezdjian (a1), Adrian Raine (a3) and Laura A. Baker (a1)...


The genetic and environmental etiology of individual differences was examined in initial level and change in psychopathic personality from ages 9 to 18 years. A piecewise growth curve model, in which the first change score (G1) influenced all ages (9–10, 11–13, 14–15, and 16–18 years) and the second change score (G2) only influenced ages 14–15 and 16–18 years, fit the data better did than the standard single slope model, suggesting a turning point from childhood to adolescence. The results indicated that variations in levels and both change scores were mainly due to genetic (A) and nonshared environmental (E) influences (i.e., AE structure for G0, G1, and G2). No sex differences were found except on the mean values of level and change scores. Based on caregiver ratings, about 81% of variance in G0, 89% of variance in G1, and 94% of variance in G2 were explained by genetic factors, whereas for youth self-reports, these three proportions were 94%, 71%, and 66%, respectively. The larger contribution of genetic variance and covariance in caregiver ratings than in youth self-reports may suggest that caregivers considered the changes in their children to be more similar as compared to how the children viewed themselves.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Catherine Tuvblad, Department of Psychology, SGM 501, University of Southern California, 3620 South McClintock Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089–1061; E-mail:


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