Oxytocin Receptor Gene (OXTR) and Deviant Peer Affiliation: A Gene–Environment Interaction in Adolescent Antisocial Behavior

Iro Fragkaki*, Maaike Cima, Maaike Verhagen, Dominique F. Maciejewski, Marco P. Boks, Pol A.C. van Lier, Hans M. Koot, Susan J.T. Branje, Wim H.J. Meeus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Although the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is involved in aggression and social affiliation, it has not been examined in gene-environment interaction studies. This longitudinal study examined the effect of genetic variants in OXTR and its gene-environment interaction with perceived deviant peer affiliation in the trajectories of antisocial behavior in 323 adolescents (182 males) from 13 to 18 years. Annual assessments of reactive and proactive aggression, delinquency, and friends’ delinquency, as well as DNA at age 17 were collected. Gene-based tests yielded no main effect of OXTR, but revealed a significant gene-environment interaction in proactive aggression and delinquency. Variation in the OXTR might affect the influence of deviant peer affiliation on antisocial behavior, contributing to a better understanding of individual differences in antisocial behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume48
Issue number1
Early online date12 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019

Funding

Funding The RADAR-y project has been financially supported by grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (GB-MAGW 480-03-005,GB-MAGW 480-08-006), the Stichting Achmea Slachtoffer en Samenleving (SASS), a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research to the Consortium Individual Development (CID; 024.001.003), and several other grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, VU University Amsterdam, and Utrecht University.

FundersFunder number
Stichting Achmea Slachtoffer en Samenleving024.001.003
Universiteit Utrecht
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk OnderzoekGB-MAGW 480-03-005, GB-MAGW 480-08-006

    Keywords

    • Antisocial behavior
    • Deviant peer affiliation
    • Gene-environment interaction
    • Oxytocin receptor gene

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