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It really does take a village: The role of neighborhood in the etiology of child antisocial behavior Seminar

Time:
15:00 - 16:00
Date:
15 September 2015
Venue:
University of Southampton Highfield Campus Building 44 (Shackleton Building) Level 1 Room 1087

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380595150 or email S.McNally@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

There is now considerable evidence that neighborhood disadvantage predicts child antisocial behavior, and that this effect may be causal, at least to an extent. However, the mechanisms underlying these contextual influences on child behavior remain unclear.

There is now considerable evidence that neighborhood disadvantage predicts child antisocial behavior, and that this effect may be causal, at least to an extent. However, the mechanisms underlying these contextual influences on child behavior remain unclear. In this talk, I will examine gene-environment interplay as one key possibility, evaluating how structural and social characteristics of the neighborhood shape the etiology of child antisocial behavior. The studies to be presented employed a number of state-of-the-science sampling, methodologic, and analytic techniques. They were also designed to build upon one another, thereby allowing us to more fully explore the possibility of gene-environment interplay. Results collectively provide compelling, if rather surprising, evidence regarding both ‘bioecological gene-environment interactions’ and passive gene-environment correlations. Implications will be discussed.

Speaker information

Professor Alexandra Burt, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, USA. Dr. Burt’s research focuses on understanding the role of gene-environment interplay in the development of aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors (collectively referred to as antisocial behaviors) across the lifespan. In particular, she is interested in how the environment may effectively turn genes for antisocial behavior on and/or off. She is also exploring possible sub-types within the broader construct of antisocial behavior, as these may be relevant moderators of gene-environment interplay. She makes use of a number of interrelated research strategies: molecular genetic approaches, twin approaches, examinations of the role of hormone levels, and explorations of environmental influences, personality, and emotion. Because the origins of antisocial behavior vary with age and development, her lab conducts studies in children, adolescents, college students, and adults, including the recently adjudicated.

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