Heterogeneity in antisocial behaviours and comorbidity with depressed mood: a behavioural genetic approach


  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.

Richard Rowe, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S102TP, UK. Tel: +44(0)1142226606; Fax: +44(0)1142766515; Email: r.rowe@sheffield.ac.uk


Background:  Antisocial behaviour is often comorbid with depressed mood but is itself a collection of heterogeneous behaviours. Using a genetically informative design, we examine heterogeneity in antisocial behaviour and overlaps between different forms of antisocial behaviour with depressed mood.

Methods:  Data were drawn from the G1219 large-scale community sample containing self-report questionnaire data from 941 twin pairs and 328 sibling-pairs aged 12–21 years.

Results:  Inter-correlations among oppositionality, physical aggression and delinquency, and between the antisocial subscales and depressed mood, were mediated by genetic and non-shared environmental influences. Genetic factors generally contributed more to the correlations than the non-shared environment.

Conclusions:  These results indicate that many genetic and non-shared environmental influences were common to all the traits studied, but there was also evidence for trait-specific effects.