Genetic influences that explain aggressive behaviour in teens match up with similar influences much later in life
"Continuity of Genetic Risk for Aggressive Behavior Across the Life-Course"
Camiel M. van der Laan et al.
We test whether genetic influences that explain individual differences in aggression in early life also explain individual differences across the life-course. In two cohorts from The Netherlands ( N = 13,471) and Australia ( N = 5628), polygenic scores (PGSs) were computed based on a genome-wide meta-analysis of childhood/adolescence aggression. In a novel analytic approach, we ran a mixed effects model for each age (Netherlands: 12–70 years, Australia: 16–73 years), with observations at the focus age weighted as 1, and decaying weights for ages further away. We call this approach a ‘rolling weights’ model. In The Netherlands, the estimated effect of the PGS was relatively similar from age 12 to age 41, and decreased from age 41–70. In Australia, there was a peak in the effect of the PGS around age 40 years. These results are a first indication from a molecular genetics perspective that genetic influences on aggressive behavior that are expressed in childhood continue to play a role later in life.
Behavior Genetics 51(11) DOI: 10.1007/s10519-021-10076-6