Behavioral genetics research has revealed that approximately 25% of the variance in measures of the family environment, including parenting, is attributable to genetic factors. However, precisely which candidate genes are associated with the family environment is largely unknown. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Results provide some evidence that three genes of the dopaminergic system (Dopamine D2 receptor gene [DRD2], Dopamine D4 receptor gene [DRD4], and Dopamine transporter gene [DAT1]) are associated with variation in measures of maternal negativity, paternal negativity, and childhood maltreatment for Caucasian males. We speak to what these findings mean for criminological theory and research that focuses on family socialization as an important factor in the etiology of crime and related antisocial behaviors.
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