New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

A sample of new articles published in Clinical Psychological Science are part of the forthcoming special series “Dissecting Antisocial Behavior: The Impact of Neural, Genetic, and Environmental Factors”:

Polygenic Risk for Externalizing Psychopathology and Executive Dysfunction in Trauma-Exposed Veterans

Naomi Sadeh, Erika J. Wolf, Mark W. Logue, Joanna Lusk, Jasmeet P. Hayes, Regina E. McGlinchey, William P. Milberg, Annjanette Stone, Steven A. Schichman, and Mark W. Miller

Although studies have indicated that externalizing problems are highly heritable, it has become apparent that this heritability is likely polygenic in nature. Two samples of White non-Hispanic military veterans completed assessments for traumatic life events, cognitive functions, impulsive personality traits, antisocial behavior, and mental disorders. All participants also underwent DNA genotyping. Polygenic risk score was associated with externalizing psychopathology and impaired performance on executive-functioning tasks. Trauma exposure was also found to be associated with greater impulsivity and lower working memory capacity in those with high polygenic risk scores. These findings suggest that polygenic heritability factors that lead to executive dysfunction could be an underlying contributor to the development of externalizing psychopathology.

Neighborhood Disadvantage Alters the Origins of Children’s Nonaggressive Conduct Problems

Alexandra Burt, Kelly L. Klump, Deborah Gorman-Smith, and Jenae M. Neiderhiser

Many models of the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and antisocial behavior have focused on the environmental contributors to this link. The authors assessed more than 2,000 twins and their parents for antisocial behavior and measured the poverty level of the neighborhood in which they lived. Although neighborhood poverty was not found to influence aggressive antisocial behavior, it was found to influence nonaggressive antisocial behavior, but only in more disadvantaged neighborhoods. Genetic influence was much more influential in middle- to upper-class neighborhoods. The authors hypothesize that the influence of parenting may be accentuated in disadvantaged neighborhoods or that children in disadvantaged neighborhoods may be exposed to environmental contaminants that result in behavioral problems.

Identifying Essential Features of Juvenile Psychopathy in the Prediction of Later Antisocial Behavior: Is There an Additive, Synergistic, or Curvilinear Role for Fearless Dominance?

Colin E. Vize, Donald R. Lynam, Joanna Lamkin, Joshua D. Miller, and Dustin Pardini

To understand how fearless-dominance-related traits (i.e., traits dealing with interpersonal warmth and dominance in the absence of negative self-directed emotions) convey risk for psychopathology, adolescents were assessed for juvenile psychopathy, impulsivity, verbal IQ, Big 5 personality traits, and delinquency between ages 10 and 13. Between the ages of 22 and 26, the same subjects were assessed for adult psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, personality traits, arrests and convictions, life outcomes, substance use, and depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints. Little evidence was found that fearless dominance was related to negative outcomes, suggesting it should be dropped from the psychopathy construct.

Donald R. Lynam will speak in the Invited Symposium “Converging Evidence: Impulsivity, Effortful Control, and Disinhibition” at the 28th APS Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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