Report

Role of Genotype in the Cycle of Violence in Maltreated Children

Science  02 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5582, pp. 851-854
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072290

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

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.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: t.moffitt{at}iop.kcl.ac.uk

View Full Text

Cited By...