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Dev Sci. 2011 Sep;14(5):1059-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01047.x. Epub 2011 Jun 4.

The association between infants' self-regulatory behavior and MAOA gene polymorphism.

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School of Education, Linyi University, China.


Self-regulatory behavior in early childhood is an important characteristic that has considerable implications for the development of adaptive and maladaptive functioning. The present study investigated the relations between a functional polymorphism in the upstream region of monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) and self-regulatory behavior in a sample of Chinese infants at 6 months of age. Self-regulation was assessed by observing infants' behavior of orienting visual attention away from a threatening event in the laboratory situation. The results indicated that regulatory behavior was associated with the functional MAOA gene polymorphism in girls, but not boys. Girls with 4/4 genotypes displayed significantly higher regulation than girls with 3/3 and 3/4 genotypes. The present study provided evidence for gender differences on the role of MAOA gene polymorphism in socioemotional functioning in the early years.

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