The proposed study will examine the relationship between childhood biological functioning and adult criminal behavior among individuals who have the biosocial risk factors of a criminal parent. Adult participants form the island of Mauritius will be placed into 1 of 4 groups: Desistors (non-criminal participants with criminal parent); Low Family Risk (criminal participants without criminal parent); High Family Risk (criminal participants with criminal parent); and Controls (non- criminal participants without criminal parent). The groups will be tested for difference son several biological factors measured when the participants measured when the participants were children: resting autonomic and cortical levels, skin conductance orienting, skin conductance responding to aversive stimuli, and executive/frontal function.
Aims of the study include (1) cross-cultural replication of prior findings the autonomic and cortical underarousal in childhood observed in Low Family Risk Participants, and that high autonomic arousal is observed in Desistors; (2) exploration of whether Desistors have truly desisted from crime, or whether they have successfully avoided getting caught for their crimes; (3) expansion of the concept of risk and protective factors to include executive/frontal function; and (4) examination of the hypothesis that effects are similar across ethnic groups. The results of this longitudinal study will have implications for identify the biological mechanisms that both place individuals at risk for, and protect them from, engaging in crime.
|Raine, Adrian; Ishikawa, Sharon S; Arce, Estibaliz et al. (2004) Hippocampal structural asymmetry in unsuccessful psychopaths. Biol Psychiatry 55:185-91|