Genetic Factors in Aggression

  • Created by: rosannaaa
  • Created on: 07-04-18 16:23
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    • Genetic links - research has to seperate the role of the environment and influence of genetics
  • Selective Breeding - Species of various individuals have been selectively bred to produce highly aggressive individuals
    • E.g. Doberman dogs were originally bred by humans to behave aggressively towards intruders.
    • This ability to select the most aggressive dogs and breed them together to give new generations with the same aggressive tendencies suggests there are specific genes determining levels of agg.
  • MAOA - warrior gene, an enzyme technically not a gene.
    • Found in the X chromosome, more prevalent in boys. Monoamine Oxidase is a protein produced by a certain gene that has been attributed to agg behaviour.
  • Role is to mopup excess neurotransmitters in synapse. MAOA regulates metabolism of serotonin, noradrenatine and dopamine.
  • Synapse becomes desensitised to neurotransmitters.
  • Low levels of MAOA has been attributede to agg behaviour.
  • Twin studies - Coccaro et al 1997 found in twin pairs a 50% variance in direct agg behaviours can be attributed to genetic factors. Found 19% for DZ, verbal agg was 28% for MZ, 7% for DZ.
  • Adoption studies - Hutchings and Mednick 1975 - found a number of adopted boys with criminal convictions had biological parents with convictions for criminal violence, when assessing 14,000 adoptions in Denmark.


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