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Partner similarity for self-reported antisocial behaviour among married, cohabiting and dating couples: the Generation R Study

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From a criminological perspective, romantic relationships are supposed to decrease the risk of antisocial behaviour (Laub, Nagin, & Sampson, American Sociological Review, 63, 225–238, 1998). However, the effects of these relationships probably depend on the romantic partner's behaviour. In the current study we examined partner similarity for antisocial behaviour in an ethnically heterogeneous community sample of 4135 married, cohabiting and dating couples from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, using self-reports. Spousal correlations were consistently positive for antisocial behaviour but differed in strength according to the type of antisocial behaviour. Associations between spouses remained strong after adjusting for age and educational level depending on the type of antisocial behaviour. In addition, antisocial behaviour was positively associated between partners across marital status and ethnicity, but the strength of this association varied to some extent. Results are discussed in light of the phenotypic assortment, the socialization and the social homogamy hypotheses.
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Keywords: criminal behaviour; criminal careers; delinquency; ethnic background; socio-economics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Criminology,Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 2: Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,Erasmus Medical Center, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 3: Department of Epidemiology,Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 4: Department of Public Health,Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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