CitationTuvblad, C. & Baker, L. A. (2011). Human aggression across the lifespan: genetic propensities and environmental moderators. Adv Genet. vol. 75 pp. 171-214 , PMCID: PMC3696520
AbstractThis chapter reviews the recent evidence of genetic and environmental influences on human aggression. Findings from a large selection of the twin and adoption studies that have investigated the genetic and environmental architecture of aggressive behavior are summarized. These studies together show that about half (50%) of the variance in aggressive behavior is explained by genetic influences in both males and females, with the remaining 50% of the variance being explained by environmental factors not shared by family members. Form of aggression (reactive, proactive, direct/physical, indirect/relational), method of assessment (laboratory observation, self-report, ratings by parents and teachers), and age of the subjects-all seem to be significant moderators of the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on aggressive behavior. Neither study design (twin vs. sibling adoption design) nor sex (male vs. female) seems to impact the magnitude of the genetic and environmental influences on aggression. There is also some evidence of gene-environment interaction (G x E) from both twin/adoption studies and molecular genetic studies. Various measures of family adversity and social disadvantage have been found to moderate genetic influences on aggressive behavior. Findings from these G x E studies suggest that not all individuals will be affected to the same degree by experiences and exposures, and that genetic predispositions may have different effects depending on the environment.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleAdv Genet
Baker, L. A.