Knowledge and Resource Hub
03 May 2019

The interaction between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and childhood maltreatment as a predictor of personality pathology in females: Emotional reactivity as a potential mediating mechanism

This research investigated the gene x environment interaction for the relationship between child maltreatment and later antisocial behaviour in a prospectively assessed, longitudinal sample of 2,004 females. It specifically examined whether changes in emotional reactivity during adolescence mediated associations between this gene × environment and antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder in early adulthood. Consistent with the research hypotheses, females with high-activity MAOA genotype who experienced early maltreatment had greater increases in emotional reactivity during adolescence; with higher levels of emotional reactivity predicting both antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder symptom severity. The findings suggest that the interaction between MAOA  and early maltreatment places women at risk for a broader range of personality pathology through its  effects on emotional reactivity.