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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name



Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Matthew Larson


A growing body of literature biological influences exists within the field of criminology. This study focuses on growing our understanding of polygenic risk and its interaction with environmental influences on youth delinquency in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. The current research builds upon the findings from Mitchell et al. (2014), which suggested a gene-social environment interaction in a biomarker for stress, four serotonergic polymorphism, and harsh environments, by examining their implications for delinquency. The multivariate models found that carriers of homozygotic serotonergic risk genotypes, when coupled with harsh parental environments, predicted an increase in delinquency by 18%. These results suggest individuals with risk genotypes are more receptive to conflict-oriented parenting methods which can lead to delinquent behavior outcomes. Results and implications for the study, as well as, the need for future research are further discussed.

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