Skip to main content
construction release_alert
Scholars@Duke will be undergoing maintenance April 11-15. Some features may be unavailable during this time.
cancel
Journal cover image

Whole blood serotonin relates to violence in an epidemiological study.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Moffitt, TE; Brammer, GL; Caspi, A; Fawcett, JP; Raleigh, M; Yuwiler, A; Silva, P
Published in: Biological psychiatry
March 1998

Clinical and animal studies suggest that brain serotonergic systems may regulate aggressive behavior; however, the serotonin/violence hypothesis has not been assessed at the epidemiological level. For study of an epidemiological sample we examined blood serotonin, because certain physiological and behavioral findings suggested that it might serve as an analog marker for serotonergic function.Whole blood serotonin was measured in a representative birth cohort of 781 21-year-old women (47%) and men (53%). Violence was measured using cumulative court conviction records and participants' self-reports. Potential intervening factors addressed were: gender, age, diurnal variation, diet, psychiatric medications, illicit drug history, season of phlebotomy, plasma tryptophan, platelet count, body mass, suicide attempts, psychiatric diagnoses, alcohol, tobacco, socioeconomic status, IQ, and overall criminal offending.Whole blood serotonin related to violence among men but not women. Violent men's mean blood serotonin level was 0.48 SD above the male population norm and 0.56 SD above the mean of nonviolent men. The finding was specific to violence, as opposed to general crime, and it was robust across two different methods of measuring violence. Together, the intervening variables accounted for 25% of the relation between blood serotonin and violence.To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that an index of serotonergic function is related to violence in the general population.

Duke Scholars

Altmetric Attention Stats
Dimensions Citation Stats

Published In

Biological psychiatry

DOI

EISSN

1873-2402

ISSN

0006-3223

Publication Date

March 1998

Volume

43

Issue

6

Start / End Page

446 / 457

Related Subject Headings

  • Violence
  • Tryptophan
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Smoking
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Serotonin
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Psychiatry
  • Platelet Count
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Moffitt, T. E., Brammer, G. L., Caspi, A., Fawcett, J. P., Raleigh, M., Yuwiler, A., & Silva, P. (1998). Whole blood serotonin relates to violence in an epidemiological study. Biological Psychiatry, 43(6), 446–457. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0006-3223(97)00340-5
Moffitt, T. E., G. L. Brammer, A. Caspi, J. P. Fawcett, M. Raleigh, A. Yuwiler, and P. Silva. “Whole blood serotonin relates to violence in an epidemiological study.Biological Psychiatry 43, no. 6 (March 1998): 446–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0006-3223(97)00340-5.
Moffitt TE, Brammer GL, Caspi A, Fawcett JP, Raleigh M, Yuwiler A, et al. Whole blood serotonin relates to violence in an epidemiological study. Biological psychiatry. 1998 Mar;43(6):446–57.
Moffitt, T. E., et al. “Whole blood serotonin relates to violence in an epidemiological study.Biological Psychiatry, vol. 43, no. 6, Mar. 1998, pp. 446–57. Epmc, doi:10.1016/s0006-3223(97)00340-5.
Moffitt TE, Brammer GL, Caspi A, Fawcett JP, Raleigh M, Yuwiler A, Silva P. Whole blood serotonin relates to violence in an epidemiological study. Biological psychiatry. 1998 Mar;43(6):446–457.
Journal cover image

Published In

Biological psychiatry

DOI

EISSN

1873-2402

ISSN

0006-3223

Publication Date

March 1998

Volume

43

Issue

6

Start / End Page

446 / 457

Related Subject Headings

  • Violence
  • Tryptophan
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Smoking
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Serotonin
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Psychiatry
  • Platelet Count