Biological Factors and the Development of Persistent Criminality

Patrick Sylvers, Stacy R. Ryan, S. Amanda Alden, Patricia A. Brennan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter orients the reader to the current biological models of delinquent psychopathology and provides an overview of the biological literature; including heritability, psychophysiology, neurobiology, and endocrinology related to the development of persistent criminal behavior in children and adolescents. The four areas of crime-related psychopathology discussed are early-onset conduct disorder, juvenile psychopathy, bullying, and sex offending. Research is presented in connection with widely accepted biological models of behavior. This chapter also highlights the strengths and limitations of the existing literature, consolidates this literature to identify patterns of convergence and divergence across disorders, and suggests areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Development of Persistent Criminality
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199871384
ISBN (Print)9780195310313
StatePublished - May 1 2009


  • Biology
  • Bullying
  • Chronic offending
  • Crime
  • Early onset
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Maternal smoking
  • Maternal substance use
  • Neurobiology
  • Psychopathy
  • Psychophysiology
  • Sexual aggression
  • Underarousal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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