Barnes, James C.

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J. C. Barnes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and a Senior Research Scientist at UTD's Center for Crime and Justice Studies. Dr. Barnes' research "aims to uncover the biosocial correlates of antisocial behavior. Recent works have identified a genetic influence on different trajectories of offending across the life course." Learn more about Dr. Barnes on his home and Research Explorer pages


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006
    (Public Library of Science, 2014-03) Morris, Robert G.; TenEyck, Michael; Barnes, James C.; Kovandzic, Tomislav; 0000 0003 5627 7714 (Barnes, JC); 0000 0000 5311 5742 (Kovandzic, T); 2011138406 (Barnes, JC); 2006005160 (Kovandzic, T); 87819498‏ (Murdoch, JC)
    Background: Debate has surrounded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for decades. Some have argued medical marijuana legalization (MML) poses a threat to public health and safety, perhaps also affecting crime rates. In recent years, some U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, reigniting political and public interest in the impact of marijuana legalization on a range of outcomes. Methods: Relying on U.S. state panel data, we analyzed the association between state MML and state crime rates for all Part I offenses collected by the FBI. Findings: Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates. Conclusions: These findings run counter to arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.
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    A Functional Polymorphism in a Serotonin Transporter Gene (5-HTTLPR) Interacts with 9/11 to Predict Gun-Carrying Behavior
    (2013-08-28) Barnes, James C.; Beaver, K. M.; Boutwell, B. B.; 0000 0003 5627 7714 (Barnes, JC); 2011138406 (Barnes, JC); Barnes, James C.
    On September 11, 2001, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in US history took place on American soil and people around the world were impacted in myriad ways. Building on prior literature which suggests individuals are more likely to purchase a gun for self-protection if they are fearful of being victimized, the authors hypothesized that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 would lead to an increase in gun carrying among US residents. At the same time, a line of research has shown that a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene (i.e., 5-HTTLPR) interacts with environmental stressors to predict a range of psychopathologies and behaviors. Thus, it was hypothesized that 9/11 and 5-HTTLPR would interact to predict gun carrying. The results supported both hypotheses by revealing a positive association between 9/11 and gun carrying (b =. 426, odds ratio = 1.531, standard error for b =. 194, z = 2.196, p =. 028) in the full sample of respondents (n = 15,052) and a statistically significant interaction between 9/11 and 5-HTTLPR in the prediction of gun carrying (b = -1.519, odds ratio =. 219, standard error for b =. 703, z = -2.161, p =. 031) in the genetic subsample of respondents (n = 2,350). This is one of the first studies to find an association between 9/11 and gun carrying and, more importantly, is the first study to report a gene-environment interaction (GxE) between a measured gene and a terrorist attack.
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    Indicators of domestic/intimate partner violence are structured by genetic and nonshared environmental influences
    (Elsevier, 2012-11-17) Barnes, James C.; TenEyck, Michael; Boutwell, Brian B.; Beaver, Kevin M.; 0000 0003 5627 7714 (Barnes, JC); 2011138406 (Barnes, JC); Barnes, James C.
    One of the most consistent findings to emerge from domestic/intimate partner violence (IPV) research is that IPV tends to ―run in the family.‖ Social learning theories appear to be consistent with empirical data, but almost no attention has been given to alternative explanations, including that genetic factors explain intergenerational transmission of IPV. Data for this study were drawn from wave 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Three indicators of IPV were measured and genetic factors accounted for 24% of the variance in hitting one’s partner, 54% of the variance in injuring one’s partner, and 51% of the variance in forcing sexual activity on one’s partner. The shared environment explained none of the variance across all three indicators and the nonshared environment explained the remainder of the variance. These findings point to the importance of genetic factors in the etiology of IPV.

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