Confirmation that some people are born bad

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

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