Violence exposure in an urban city: A GxE interaction with aggressive and impulsive behaviors

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Previous research has demonstrated a reciprocal relationship between community violence exposure and disruptive behavior problems among youth. No study to date, however, has explored the potential interaction between violence exposure in early adolescence and genetics. Methods: We explore the gene x environment interaction's impact on teacher-rated aggressive and impulsive behaviors. Violence exposure during the middle school years was assessed using self-report. Genetic data collection occurred in emerging adulthood. A polygenic score was created using findings from a conduct disorder symptomatology genome-wide association study. Results: Three longitudinal classes of teacher reported aggressive and impulsive behavior were identified. We found a significant relationship between violence exposure and class membership. There was a significant GxE interaction, such that those with below average levels of the polygenic score and who were exposed to violence were more likely to be in the moderately high aggressive and impulsive class as compared to the no to low class. Conclusions: These findings highlight the influence of genetic risk together with violence exposure on adolescent problem behavior. Although youth may have little control over the environments in which they live, interventions can and should focus on helping all youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Aggression
  • genetics
  • molecular
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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