The Effect of MAOA and Stress Sensitivity on Crime and Delinquency: A Replication Study
- Christa C. Christ, Joseph A. Schwartz, Scott F. Stoltenberg, Jonathan Brauer, Jukka Savolainen
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Abstract: Across several meta-analyses, MAOA-uVNTR genotype has been associated with an increased risk for antisocial behavior among males who experienced early life adversity. Subsequently, early life stress and genetic susceptibility may have long-term effects on stress sensitivity later in life. In support of this assumption, a recent study found evidence, in two independent samples, for a three-way interaction effect (cG × E × E) such that proximate stress was found to moderate the interactive effect of MAOA-uVNTR and distal stress on crime and delinquency among males. In light of recent developments in cG × E research, we attempted to replicate these findings in an independent sample of university students. Our results failed to support any cG × E or cG × E × E effects reported in the original study. Implications of a failed replication and general concerns for future cG × E research are discussed.