News of the WeekPsychology

Violent Effects of Abuse Tied to Gene

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Science  02 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5582, pp. 752
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5582.752a

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A new study of both genetics and social surroundings points to the influence of a particular genotype on aggressive behavior in young adults from a troubled background. On page 851, a team of clinical psychologists reports that a certain form of a gene that breaks down neurotransmitters makes men more likely to be violent, but only if they were maltreated as children.