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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 236370 Find in a Library
Title: Evidence of a Gene x Environment Interaction Between Perceived Prejudice and MAOA Genotype in the Prediction of Criminal Arrests
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:39  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2011  Pages:378-384
Author(s): Joseph A. Schwartz; Kevin M. Beaver
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: In building on a large body of research that shows both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of antisocial behavior, the current study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) in examining the effects of monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene on the probability of being arrested.
Abstract: The MAOA gene has consistently been linked to antisocial behaviors, and perceived prejudice as an environmental factor has also been linked to antisocial behavior. Results from the Add Health data yielded two main findings. First, there were no statistically significant independent effects of MAOA or perceived prejudice on the probability of being arrested; this was true for males or females. Respondents who only possessed the low activity MAOA allele did not experience a statistically higher probability of arrest than those who possessed a high activity MAOA allele. Likewise, respondents who only experienced perceived prejudice were not found to have a statistically significant increase in the probability of arrest when compared to those who did not experience perceived prejudice. The second key finding from the analysis was that the measured gene and environment interaction between MAOA genotype and perceived prejudice increased the probability of arrest for males, but not for females. Male respondents who had the low activity MAOA allele had, on average, the lowest probability of being arrested in the face of no prejudice and the highest probability of being arrested in response to prejudice. One of the unique and distinguishing aspects of the Add Health data is that a subsample of participants submitted samples of their buccal cells for genotyping at wave III. Respondents were only eligible to be genotyped if they had a sibling or co-twin who participated in the Add Health data collection process as well. Approximately 2,574 participants were genotyped for polymorphisms related to neurotransmission. 2 tables, 1 figure and 70 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Crime prediction; Discrimination; Environmental influences
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