Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We studied a large sample of male children from birth to adulthood to determine why some children who are maltreated grow up to develop antisocial behavior, whereas others do not. A functional polymorphism in the gene encoding the neurotransmitter-metabolizing enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) was found to moderate the effect of maltreatment. Maltreated children with a genotype conferring high levels of MAOA expression were less likely to develop antisocial problems. These findings may partly explain why not all victims of maltreatment grow up to victimize others, and they provide epidemiological evidence that genotypes can moderate children's sensitivity to environmental insults.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caspi, A; McClay, J; Moffitt, TE; Mill, J; Martin, J; Craig, IW; Taylor, A; Poulton, R

Published Date

  • August 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 297 / 5582

Start / End Page

  • 851 - 854

PubMed ID

  • 12161658

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1072290


  • eng