Reports

Genetic influences in criminal convictions: evidence from an adoption cohort

Science  25 May 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4651, pp. 891-894
DOI: 10.1126/science.6719119

Abstract

The possibility that genetic factors are among the causes of criminal behavior was tested by comparing court convictions of 14,427 adoptees with those of their biological and adoptive parents. A statistically significant correlation was found between the adoptees and their biological parents for convictions of property crimes. This was not true with respect to violent crimes. There was no statistically significant correlation between adoptee and adoptive parent court convictions. Siblings adopted separately into different homes tended to be concordant for convictions, especially if the shared biological father also had a record of criminal behavior.

Related Content