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Examining the Causes and Consequences of Criminal Behavior
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101030220 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2020
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST Overall Budget: 191,852 EURFunder Contribution: 191,852 EUR
Open Access mandate
Research data: No

Criminal behavior presents a significant public health problem that involves heavy economic and social burdens, including the costs of criminal justice adjudication, compensation for victims and their families, and collateral impacts on communities. While there have been attempts to address this important topic, there are a number of limitations in other studies. Within the field of criminology, sociological perspectives have been the dominant explanation for criminal behavior for while biological factors have been largely ignored. Additionally, most of the criminological research has been based in the U.S., and criminological researchers who examine biological factors often need to rely on small, non-representative samples due to the lack of national U.S. databases containing relevant information. There have been attempts in Europe, mainly by psychiatrists and other medical professionals, to address crime-related questions by using available European registries; however, these projects examine familial transmission of genetic risks for psychiatric conditions, focus on specific subtypes of criminal offending, or utilized techniques that are considered outdated or rudimentary today. Lastly, much of the research has focused on male offenders and on offenders who engage in “street” crime (e.g., violent crime), with little attention paid to female offenders or less conventional forms of offending (e.g., white-collar crime). To overcome these limitations, this project will utilize Sweden’s national registries that allow for population-wide analyses and state-of-the-art statistical techniques to deepen the understanding of the role of biological (i.e., genetic) and social (i.e., environmental) influences in the development of criminal behavior (in general and by subtype), and how gender and socioeconomic status alter these biological and social influences. The proposed study will also examine the consequences of criminal behavior on subsequent life outcomes.

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