The Effect of MAOA and Stress Sensitivity on Crime and Delinquency: A Replication Study

Publication Abstract

Christ, Christa C., Joseph A. Schwartz, Scott F. Stoltenberg, Jonathan R. Brauer, and Jukka Savolainen. 2018. "The Effect of MAOA and Stress Sensitivity on Crime and Delinquency: A Replication Study." Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 34(3): 336-353.

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.


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