Genes and behavior in context: moral communities as a source of social control Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Freeman, Jason A.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Evidence suggests that individual religiosity reduces the effects of genetic propensities on risky and antisocial behaviors such as delinquency. Yet the moral communities hypothesis suggests that individual religiosity often interacts with contextual religiosity in the prediction of antisocial behaviors. This paper examines interactive patterns involving religiosity at the individual and contextual levels and candidate genes in the prediction of delinquency and number of sexual partners in adolescence. Data come from the genetic subsample of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Analyses reveal gene interactions at both the individual level and contextual level. Interactions were found to differ between racial and gender sub-groups. The substantive meanings of these interactions, however, were often inconsistent with the moral communities hypothesis. These empirical results likely reflect an underpowered sample, a limitation that can be addressed with the release of Wave IV DNA data.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of the Arts in the Department of Sociology."
  • Shanahan, Michael
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

This work has no parents.